As Sander Jennings once said, "you don’t have to be part of the LGBTQ+ community to support their basic human rights!" The role of allies to the LGBTQ+ community is an important one, as allies help spread the message of love and understanding to everyone, and without them, the movement for LGBTQ+ pride would not look as wide and powerful as it looks today. That is why allies should be extremely proud of their work! But like Sander also said, there is a difference between being a passive ally and an active one. While you may be a vivid supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, if you are not taking actions to show it, you are not really making that much of a difference. And one of the best ways to show your pride is to wear it! So here are the facts about the Straight Ally Pride Flag! Check out the link below to get it!
- What is an ally?
As defined by the University of Illinois, “an ally is a person who is a member of the dominant group who works to end oppression in its personal and professional life by supporting and advocating with the oppressed population.”
Allies exist within a diverse range of social areas. Within the LGBTQ+ community, an ally represents a heterosexual and cisgender person who supports equal civil rights, and gender equality. Therefore, allyship is about actively challenging homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and all other discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community.
While he was not specifically talking about the LGBTQ+ community, sociologist Keith Edwards divided allyship into three stages which define social justice movements today.
- Self-interest: This is the step where one becomes an ally to protect loved ones belonging to a minority, rather than the entire community. This is the more individualistic and selfish stage, as one fights for only those it cares about.
- Aspiring for altruism: In this stage, allies take a more active role, advocating for the rights of all of those who are marginalized. Allies go through the process of understanding their privileges and begin to move in the direction of eradicating them. However, they often assume a role of the “savior,” believing that marginalized groups cannot advocate for themselves.
- Fighting for social justice: The difference between this and the last two stages is that allies begin to fight alongside marginalized communities, rather than for them. Allies gain respect for them and abandon their condescending approach. This is the ultimate stage in the fight against discrimination, and we should all strive to get there!
The origins of the flag are actually anonymous, but like many other flags, it began circulating the internet in the 2000s and quickly came to represent all of those straight allies who are eager to represent their support for the LGBTQ+ community.
- “A”: Represents allies, as “a” is the first letter of the word.
- Rainbow Colors: Represents the LGBTQA+ community.
- Black and White Bars: Represents heterosexual and/or cisgender people.
Since the flag’s designer is unknown, it is impossible to decipher the meaning of its design. But as to my own hypothesis, the rainbow’s arrow in front of the ally colors might symbolize that while the LGBTQ+ community is in charge of directing its destiny and progress, it stands behind a community of allies who will always support it.
Make sure you show your support for the LGBTQ+ community and get your Straight Ally Pride Flag now!!!