What is LGBTQA+ allyship and why is it important?
Allyship is about being an active and ongoing supporter and champion in solidarity with a marginalised group of people, such as LGBTQA+ people.
In the words of the Anti-Oppression Network, ‘allyship is an active, consistent and arduous practice of unlearning and re-evaluating, in which a person of privilege seeks to operate in solidarity with a marginalised group of people’.
Anyone can engage in LGBTQA+ allyship and seek to be a better ally: ‘straight’ people can be allies to LGBTQA+ people, and LGBTQA+ people can be allies to each other. An ally is someone who supports and champions LGBTQA+ people and rights; educates themselves and others on the importance of and work required to achieve equality and inclusion for LGBTQA+ people; and challenges homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and acephobia.
However, it is important to note that allyship is not simply an identity, and it cannot be self-defined. It is a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency and accountability with marginalised people. This work must be recognised by the people we seek to ally ourselves with.
Allies can play an important role in helping to create a safe, inclusive and celebratory environment for everyone to be able to be themselves at work.