Campus Allies

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To be a College of Charleston Campus Ally, you must complete the SafeZone Ally 101 Training and sign the Ally Contract.

Please contact Lynda Keller

An Ideal Ally is Someone Who

  • Commits to understanding the needs of LGBTQ individuals and communities and the heterosexism they endure.
  • Identifies and celebrates historical contributions of LGBTQ-identified individuals, communities, and movements.
  • Can articulate how patterns of institutionalized oppression disenfranchise LGBTQ individuals. 
  • Pursues knowledge about current policies and legislation affecting LGBTQ individuals.
  • Understands that coming out is a lifelong process that demands support and celebration.
  • Uses gender-neutral terms, such as partner or significant other,   instead of gender-specific terms like boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Treats partners of LGBTQ friends the same as they would a straight friend's partner
  • Avoid stereotypes and makes clear that stereotypes don't represent the entire LGBTQ community.
  • Confronts homophobic comments.
  • Objects to homophobic jokes in all situations.
  • Choose to take a position in support of human rights for LGBTQ individuals without first identifying as, “I’m straight, but …”
  • Speaks about the systemic inequities LGBTQ individuals face institutionally.
  • Avoid expecting an LGBTQ individual to speak for LGBTQ communities.
  • Acknowledges her/his/hir responsibility for cultivating and producing safe and inclusive environments institutionally, politically, and socially for LGBTQ individuals
  • Promotes coalition building with LGBTQ communities.
  • Teaches others the importance of outreach.
  • Celebrates successes in LGBTQ communities.
  • Works to take action whenever possible in support of human rights for LGBTQ individuals.

Ally Do’s and Don'ts

  • Do not assume that everyone you meet is heterosexual.
  • Refuse to tolerate anti-LGBTQ comments, attitudes, remarks, or jokes.
  • If you want to know something about a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, go to that person directly and ask in an appropriate manner and setting.
  • Refuse to propagate rumors.
  • Report all harassment or discriminatory behavior to the appropriate officials.
  • Respect confidentiality at all times. It is imperative that you can be trusted.
  • Display positive materials in support of the LGBTQ community (flyers for activities, posters, cards, Safe Zone Placard, etc.)
  • Use inclusive, non-gender specific language that does not assume the heterosexuality of others.
  • Educate yourself on issues and concerns of the LGBTQ community and take the initiative to obtain accurate information.
  • Keep everything in balance. Don’t assume that being LGBTQ doesn’t matter or that it is the only thing that does matter. While it is true that being LGBTQ a large part of an individual’s identity, it may not be the most important to them. In other words, being LGBTQ may not be that important to them. On the other hand, remember that being LGBTQ is not being “the same as everyone else” and that there are significant differences between LGBTQQAAIP individuals and heterosexual individuals.
  • Know your own biases and fears. Know what you are comfortable talking about and be comfortable enough to refer individuals to others when necessary. Know when it is necessary to refer an individual to an “expert” who can assist them better.
  • Remember that just because an individual is LGBTQ does not mean that is their sole identity or issue. In other words, “not everything is about being gay.” There will be times when an individual is dealing with other areas of their identity: their socioeconomic status, their religion/faith, their race, or their ethnicity. Being culturally competent better serves this community.