Allies & Advocates

Ideal Qualities

An Ally:

  • Has worked to develop an understanding of LGBT people and their needs.

  • Chooses to align with lesbians, gays, and bisexuals and responds to their needs.

  • Believes that it is in her/his self-interest to be an ally.

  • Is committed to the personal growth (in spite of the probability of discomfort and possible pain) required.

  • Is quick to take pride in personal success in responding to homophobia and overcoming fears.

  • Is able to acknowledge and articulate how patterns of fear have operated in his/her lives.

  • Expects support from other allies.

  • Expects to make some mistakes but does not use it as an excuse for non-action.

  • Knows that both sides of an ally relationship have a clear responsibility for their own response to the oppression whether or not persons on the other side choose to respond.

  • Knows that in the most empowered ally relationships, the persons in the non-oppressed role initiate the change toward personal, institutional, and societal justice and equality.

  • Knows that he/she is responsible for humanizing or empowering their role in society, particularly as their role relates to responding to homophobia.

  • Promotes a sense of community with lesbians, gays, and bisexual people and teaches others about the importance of outreach.

  • Has a good sense of humor.

Source: Condensed from N.J. Evans & V. Wall, 1991.

Page last modified December 22, 2010