Ally / Allies

People who recognize the unearned privilege they receive from society’s privileging of Whiteness, male gender, Christianity, heterosexuality, ableism, and other identities and take responsibility for advancing equity. It is important to be intersectional when considering how overlapping systems of oppression affect people’s lives (Adames et al., 2023). Although you may experience discrimination due to one or more identities, you may simultaneously experience privilege in others. For example, White women may experience discrimination based on their gender but may also benefit from Whiteness and have privilege as a result. Being an ally is more than just being sympathetic and feeling bad for those who experience discrimination. An ally is willing to act with and for others in pursuit of ending oppression and creating equality. Allyship is not a label you give yourself. How you can serve as an ally is defined and determined by the community you are advocating for. Authentic and transparent allies are willing to step out of their comfort zones. Those who decide to undertake the ally role must recognize and understand the power and privileges that they receive, accept, and experience, and they must use that position to act for justice by centering marginalized voices (M. Akbar, 2020). 

In a society that stigmatizes those who are not a member of the majority or dominant group, it is important for those that have privilege to act in allyship. Acting in allyship is when an individual, sometimes a member of the majority or dominant group, speaks out and acts in solidarity with a person or group that is targeted. Allyship works to end oppression by supporting and advocating for people who are stigmatized, discriminated against or treated unfairly. This can come in various forms such as interrupting individual moments of bias, to asking for systematic changes to eliminate unfairness and relieve injustices. In the LGBTQ community, acting in allyship is based on supporting and advocating for the rights of LGBTQ people in a heteronormative world.