During the week of October 20th students and staff celebrated being allies of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) community, during GLSEN’s Ally Week.
We in the YHS GSA believe that ANYONE can be an ally–gay, straight, and everyone in-between! Students and adults can be allies as well. Basically, an ally is anyone who supports and stands up for the LGBTQ community.
On Monday, to celebrate diversity and the beginning of Ally Week, students and staff sported rainbow and tie-dye clothing, including colorful t-shirts, rainbow flags and bright knee-high socks. On Tuesday morning, members of the GSA met to decorate the school and further display Yorkie spirit with balloons, ribbons, posters and signs. Decorations went up all around the Junior and Senior buildings, featuring the handcrafted GSA Take What You Need and Proud to be an Ally posters.
Over the next couple of days, the Ally Pledge was set up in the cafeteria where people could sign the pledge and collect rainbow ribbons and stickers. Signatures filled over seven pages, pledging not to use anti-LGBT language and slurs, to intervene if possible to stop bullying and harassment and to support safer schools efforts.
Wednesday’s assembly featured a GSA presentation, showing two Out in Schools student-made videos (Be the One Who Helps and And That’s Remarkable) and talking about the importance of allies in addition to having one’s own personal strength.
Ally Week at YHS concluded on Thursday with a short film at lunch, featuring: “I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone“. The film was made in Brazil, and won the 2011 Iris Prize – the biggest LGBTQ short film award in the world. Discussions about the film are to be continued at the next GSA meeting on Monday, November 4th, at lunch.
Ally Week also introduced the new GSA email – firstname.lastname@example.org. This email can be used to ask questions or to make suggestions. All emails go to Ms. Hoang and Ms. Boteju and will sometimes be shared (anonymously) with the GSA if the topic is something to discuss as a group. Questions and suggestions can be sent in anonymously by creating a fake email address.
Read further to find out more about how anyone can be a better ally against anti-LGBT language, bullying and harassment in [Canada’s] schools. —GLSEN Website