Friday, March 14, 2008

What is an ally?

When most people hear the word “ally” they often think of wartime, treaties and feuding countries.  That is not always the case.  An ally is a term that can be used in everyday life.  In my opinion an ally is a person who attaches their name and beliefs to a movement, which stands up for people and will help advance the rights of those less fortunate against a much larger force or power.  It is a way to protect and ensure that those being oppressed have a chance to make the best out of the opportunities given to them. 

Locally, people most often hear it attached to the LGBT movement towards equal rights for marriage, and protection against hate crimes.  A person can be an ally to anything and everything from animal cruelty to better health care coverage to civil rights movements.  As long as the person believes that it will further the well being of the community around them and a worthy cause to put their reputations on the line; and in worst case scenarios their physical and mental well being, cause not everyone will react the same way to new ideas as history has proven in the past.

As long as it is a movement you truly believe in; then you are an ally of that cause.  Allies are important, because they are not fighting for themselves; they are fighting for others and the advancement of the oppressed.  They fight because they believe it will make the community as a whole a better place to live.  These allies often face more ridicule and just as many dangers as the people they fight for and with.


Australia Scott said...

Heck, if more people, especially young people, stopped making homophobic commentary just to seem "macho", if they rolled their eyes and scoffed when one of their peers did, that'd be ally enough to me. Grassroots social change start like this.

Laura said...

Excellent entry...I don't think enough people are aware of what "ally" means without the wartime connotation. Education is key and I hope far more people access this entry and educate themselves and become an ally of a worthwhile cause and LGBT is certainly one of them!