BEING A STRAIGHT ALLY TO THE LGBT COMMUNITY
Peter Ji / University of Illinois at Chicago
comment about reason #15: As I was reviewing the first fourteen reasons,
I realized that I left out the most important one. In constructing these
reasons, my purpose was to write down “reasonable” responses
to those who might question why I am striving to become a straight ally.
I was anticipating that I had to debate others; to justify my reasons
for standing up for LGBT rights; to combat a homophobic society. I suddenly
realized that these reasons were empty because I forgot a crucial piece:
discrimination and hurting others is inherently wrong. No one should have
to live with feeling hated for who they are. So I ended the program with
reason #15; being a straight ally is simply the right thing to do.
students did not know what to do after college and
asked the professor about what should they do. In her speech,
the professor replied, “Start there. You start with what
you know and you look forward to learning more about what you
hope to know.”
response to this outreach event was astounding. Many straight persons
came to the outreach event and said it was their first chance to “come
out” as a straight ally to the LGBT community. Many LGBT individuals
attended because they were glad that straight individuals were presenting
programs to address homophobia. I received an enormous thank you from
the LGBT outreach center at the university. The program turned a corner
for me. I found others who were also struggling to be a straight ally.
I was no longer alone and I was relieved to have other straight allies
to share my struggle with. We realized that to be a true ally means remaining
curious about your identity as an ally. By being honest about ourselves,
acknowledging what we know and what we want to do, and remaining true
to our desire to be an ally, we can claim that we are allies to the LGBT
Professional Presentation Travel Fellowship - University of Missouri.
Walter Scott Monroe Research Fellowship Fund - University of Missouri.
Department Nomination for Superior Graduate Achievement Award -
University of Missouri.
12/99 Multicultural Roundtable Discussion Scholarship - University
Peabody Scholarship in Education – University of Missouri
- 5/00 Music Performance Scholarship – University of Missouri,
School of Music.
Research Grant - Minority research, University of Missouri
a year of being involved in PFLAG and presenting the outreach event, I
marched in my first Gay Pride Parade in Chicago. The experience was wonderful.
Our PFLAG section received the loudest cheers. Proud parents held up signs
stating, “Our children free at last” or “God blessed
me with a Gay Son”. I walked arm in arm with a gay man and crowds
cheered our embrace. I have marched in the parade twice now and I always
have mixed emotions. While I am proud to be part of the PFLAG organization
and will constantly set goals for myself to be a straight ally, I am often
beset with the feeling that I have not done enough. Maybe that is the
way I will always perceive myself. Maybe it will be my incentive to keep
advocating, to keep being involved, to keep learning, to keep experiencing,
so that I can combat my own complacency and continually stretch myself
to help rid society of homophobia and hate. I now know that I no longer
have to worry about whether I am qualified or credible. To be a straight
ally, you start with what you know. You “start there” and
explore and develop to be the straight ally you wish to be. It has been
a great journey for me and I will know that by the next Gay Pride Parade,
I can look back each year and find that I have continually and confidently
explored ways to be a straight ally.
REQUEST FROM PETER YUN JI
I am seeking participants to complete a survey to learn about people’s
knowledge and skills with regard to the lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and transgender (LGBT) community. I am actively seeking participants
from different ethnic groups because as you may know, persons from
ethnic groups are under-represented in most research studies. I
wish to counter this trend by purposefully reaching out to members
of ethnic groups and build a strong representative sample of the
voices from those groups.
I am writing you to see if you would be interested in participating
in this survey. Participants must be over 18. The survey is meant
for participants who identify as heterosexual or straight, but persons
who identify as LGBT are encouraged to review the survey.
If you agree to be in this research, I will ask you to do the following
and complete the survey measures. Your participation in this research
is voluntary. Generally, participants have completed the survey
in 20-30 minutes. This survey has 14 webpages with 10-14 questions
each. You can also forward this survey to any interested party.
The knowledge from this study will be used to benefit the rights
and needs of the LGBT community.
If you have questions, please contact Peter Ji, Ph.D., principal
investigator, at 312-355-6344 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
to view a video describing his reasons and/or purpose to participate.
Please leave your name, phone number, and an email address. The
University of Illinois at Chicago is the home base for this research
study. You may contact the Office for the Protection of Research
Subjects at 312-996-1711 or by email at email@example.com, protocol
# 2006-0374, for any questions about this study.