Women at GLAAD talk about what makes a good ally for LGBT women #GotYourBack









We here at GLAAD are proud to say to all women that we've #GotYourBack. In honor of Women's History Month, I asked the women at GLAAD what they think are some good qualities of being a supporter and ally for women in the LGBT community. These were their answers:

"I was raised by two moms and then came out as a lesbian myself. I had the courage to come out because of the women in my life. My mom and her partner, Kathy, always encouraged me to be myself and seemed proud to stand beside each other as a couple whether it was at my middle school theater performances or out to dinner in Washington, D.C. When I came out in my junior year of college, I told my mom's partner first and though my hands were sweating as I held the cell phone, her voice was calm and warm. My father's wife, Diane, also looks past labels and accepted me from the beginning. These women had my back, and that made me want to provide that same sense of comfort to other LGBT people. I've learned from these women that good qualities for an ally for women in the LGBT community include being able to listen, never judging, having an open mind, and being honest so that if you have questions, ask them." - Claire Pires, Video & News Strategist

"As a cisgender queer woman, I think being an ally to women in the LGBT community means being an ally to all women, including and especially trans women. Trans women are six times more likely to experience hate violence than anyone else in the community, and face extremely high rates of employment discrimination, arrest and incarceration, and extremely low rates of health insurance coverage. In the media, too often trans women are the butt of the joke, the victim, the sidekick, or the bad guy. Consequently, we can be allies to trans women by recognizing that trans women are women, educating ourselves on the particulars of transphobia and transmisogyny, thinking deeply about cisgender privilege, advocating for trans inclusive activism, naming transphobia when it occurs in our community, making space for trans women to be leaders, and celebrating the brilliant trans activists who continue to shape our movement. Allyship is a process of learning and education—I'm proud to learn more and more everyday how to be an ally to trans women so I can say I've #GotYourBack." - Lauren Herold, Operations Coordinator

"Listen to women's ideas and diverse experiences. Ask the women you know for their thoughts. Celebrate well-rounded media portrayals of women, rather than singularly "tragic" tropes. Advocate for, and model, respect for women's bodies in your personal lives and political beliefs. If you're not a woman, check your own privilege and biases that come along with that. Recognize that women who are lesbian, bi, trans, straight, and cisgender confront many of the same issues—that means that women's issues are LGBT issues, too, and we need to actively create space for women's voices to be heard in the LGBT movement." - Alexandra Bolles, Communications Manager

"Making that world that is truly safe and supportive of cis and trans women's development and potential across age and ability spectrums possible is hard work. It demands of all of us that we step up, examine, act in solidarity, make space and take real actions to demonstrate our commitments. Especially in a world of isms, historical and present day aggressions and interconnected realities. It is to us to question constantly our work and communities to make sure that we are always reflecting an inclusive, celebratory and revolutionary stance that centers the perspective of those most impacted by multiple oppressions. In this way we show that we have learned from those who have come before and that we #gotyourback and are #atulado." - Janet Quezada, Spanish-Language Media Strategist

"Allyship to me means both recognizing and embracing differences. As women, we have the opportunity to lend our voices to the movement, support each other, and advocate toward change and acceptance among the LGBT community. Whatever your identity may be, being an ally means embracing the spectrum of intersectionality and working together toward a common goal. This includes highlighting all women's voices, representing women of all sexualities and identities in the media, speaking out for your community and contributing your ideas towards change and progress. Recognizing the differences among all LGBT women and celebrating them is what makes inspiring change happen. The women's movement – along with the LGBT movement – highlights the importance of enhancing our education, joining and contributing to the discussion, and continuing to build a community that advocates for equal worth and respect." - Jessica Rozycki, Social Media Intern

"I'm where I am because of the women before me who paved the way, but it is up to all of us now to continue that momentum. We need to be inclusive of all female voices in the conversation, protect and listen to each other and commit to learning from each other and growing together as a better allies. Be bold, have courage, we all have the right to speak and be treated with respect by others. There's no wrong way to be a woman, we've all #GotYourBack." - Megan Townsend, Entertainment Media Strategist

"Being a woman in a man's world is hard. For a lesbian or a transgender woman the gap is even wider. At the current pace of change it will take over 75 years for women to be paid equally as their male counterparts. To overcome the disparity you have to encourage women, LGBT or not, to aim high and to follow their dreams. You have to be willing to listen and to support choices that you might not necessarily make for yourself. Work, or stay at home, love a woman or a man – it is important that we can all decide freely what we want to do with our lives. So whatever it is that you want to do I've #GotYourBack." - Michaela Krejcova, International News Intern