The primary responsibility of an ally is to support individuals who have questions or concerns about topics such as sexual identity, sexual orientation, gender identity, sexual harassment, community resources, and support systems. Citrus Allies are not trained counselors, but rather self-identified warm-hearted individuals who support and affirm LGBTQ individuals and who are good listeners that can direct those who come to them for assistance to professionals and other community resources. Citrus allies are connected in a network on campus community members who support each other in the mission of creating a safe, welcoming, inclusive, and positive learning environment for all, specifically those who may be LGBTQ.
Citrus allies are to interrupt bias by conveying and supporting the belief that LGBTQ individuals have the right to be respected. Being an ally means not tolerating homophobic and heterosexist comments and actions, but rather respectfully interrupting bias in an educational and informative manner.
What Is An Ally?
· A person who has worked, and continues to develop an understanding of LGBTQ people and their needs
· Someone who believes that it is in their own best interests to be an ally
· A person who is able to acknowledge and articulate their own past patterns of fear
· Somebody who will confront instances of insulting language and stereotypes, use inclusive language, work to educate themselves, treat people who are LGBTQ like they do everybody else, and support policies and laws that promote equality
· A "safe person" for someone who is LGBTQ to speak with. This means a commitment to providing support and to maintaining confidentiality. This commitment extends to people with friends and family members that are LGBTQ
· Someone who recognizes their responsibility for humanizing and empowering their role in society, especially as it relates to responding to homophobia
· A person who will both provide and accept support from other allies
How Can I Be An Ally?
· Be supportive when someone comes out to you
· Respect confidentiality
· Don't assume everyone is heterosexual
· Do not ever "out" someone
· Don't use anti-LGBT language
· Use all inclusive language
· Educate others
· Interrupt prejudices and bias
· Know when and where to seek help
· Commit yourself to ongoing personal growth and education
· Sign the Safe Zone Ally Pledge