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Peter Ji / University of Illinois at Chicago



A 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.

Many 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.”

The 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 community.


4/99 Professional Presentation Travel Fellowship - University of Missouri.

3/99 Walter Scott Monroe Research Fellowship Fund - University of Missouri.

2/99 Department Nomination for Superior Graduate Achievement Award - University of Missouri.

12/98, 12/99 Multicultural Roundtable Discussion Scholarship - University of Missouri

5/98 Peabody Scholarship in Education – University of Missouri

5/97 - 5/00 Music Performance Scholarship – University of Missouri, School of Music.

5/96 Research Grant - Minority research, University of Missouri

After 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.

Dear Interested Participant,

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 things:

Click on the below-listed link to participate in his survey.

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 or click HERE 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, protocol # 2006-0374, for any questions about this study.

Thank you.
Peter Ji, Ph.D.

Click HERE to Peter Yun Ji's Resume

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