Allies – Those Under the Rainbow Flag & Coalition Building w/ Other Communities

Last year, the New York Times printed an article entitled “Generation LGBTQIA that focused on young gay identity and new terminology trends at colleges and gay community help groupsThere seems to be a growing need to be clearer and more specific aboutidentities that have previously clumped under LGBT.

According the NY Times reporter, “part of the solution has been to add more letters, and in recent years the post-post-post-gay-rights banner has gotten significantly longer, some might say unwieldy. The emerging rubric is “L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.,” which stands for different things, depending on whom you ask.

Do you know what all the letters mean? Let’s explore together diverse identities within the gay community. How connected are you to those within our community who are differently gay and how much mutual support do we give and receive?

What about coalition building with other communities beyond the rainbow flag?  What commonalities do we have with other communities and what may be some of our differences?  Let’s share our experiencewith living our identity and having it more widely understood and appreciated. Who are our allies and who have we had more difficulty reaching?

Discussion Questions:

1. What do we all the groups under the rainbow flaghave in common? How are we different?

2. How does our life experience differ?

3. What relationships do you have with each of the other groups under the rainbow flag?

4. What groups do you want to have more knowledge and understanding of?

5. How connected are you to those within our community who are differently gay and how much mutual support do we give and receive?

6. a. How do you feel about the NY Times reporter’s observation that there seems to be a growing need to be clearer and more specific about identities that have previously clumped under LGBT and the solution has been to add more letters?

6. b. According the NY Times reporter, “part of the solution has been to add more letters, and in recent years the post-post-post-gay-rights banner has gotten significantly longer, some might say unwieldy.

7. The LGBTTIQQ acronym- stands for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersexual Queer and Questioning and is meant to be an inclusive term for those who have often been discriminated against and/or marginalized.

8. UC Davis LGBTQIA Resource Center defines an ally as “ a person who confronts heterosexism, sexism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia and heterosexual privilege in themselves and others out of self-interest and a concern for the well being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual people and believes that dismantling heterosexism, biphobia, transphobia and genderism/cis-sexism is a social justice issue.”

Based on this definition, whom do you see asyour allies and whom do you not see as yourallies?

9. What about coalition building with other communities beyond the rainbow flag? Shareyour experience with living your identity and having it more widely understood and appreciated. Who are your allies and who haveyou had more difficulty reaching?

10. In your opinion, what is needed to gain individuals and groups as allies?

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  • Rob B.

    It's a Sisyphean task to try and quantify individuals and their life experiences into acronyms.
    In the current zeitgeist, age-based or socioeconomic-related exclusion or verbal abuse seems to be more popular than sexual-orientation-related discrimination. Will this change? Not likely.

    1 · August 5

  • Mike P.

    Will we go through the questions in order?

    August 1

    • Adam J. B.

      The questions just a loose guide for the smaller discussion groups. They don't need to be followed in order or followed at all.

      August 2

  • Adam J. B.

    An interesting debate has been going on in the media about allies vs. appropriation.
    http://time.com/2988033/white-g...­

    1 · July 17

    • Mike P.

      oh yeah, i read that. i couldn't relate.

      1 · August 1

  • John D.

    I had a recent experience with trying to define what it meant to be an "ally" and to try to connect with non-gay men over the issue of blood donation. Recently (7/11/14) there was a National Gay Blood Drive, the naming of which caused some confusion, as it was meant to highlight the need to lift the ban against gay men giving blood; unfortunately, some thought it was an opportunity to let gay men give blood in this instance (which I thought at first, too) but it was actually designed to allow gay men to bring "allies" (straight people, lesbians) to give blood in their place. A bit confusing, but a laudable goal, to emphasize that if gay men could give blood, it could only help the blood shortage situation. However, I found that I had trouble identifying said "allies," as I didn't feel I knew all that many straight people and/or lesbians (to my shame, haha), when it turns out that I did, and two lovely straight women gave blood in my name. It was actually a great experience.

    July 14

    • James T.

      Perhaps I'm bitter, but I am surprised that the Bryan Fischers out there aren't using this event to make the argument that gays are actively trying to spread AIDS to the straight (and God-like) populous. Remember Pat and his AIDS rings?

      August 1

    • James T.

      Did I just say gays? I meant homosexuals.

      1 · August 1

  • John D.

    Actually, to learn more about the National Gay Blood Drive, here is the website: http://www.gayblooddrive.com/­ And if you haven't done so already, please sign the petition to President Obama regarding lifting the ban here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov...­ (there is also a link on the website)

    1 · July 14

  • Adam J. B.

    The "A", as in Asexual, is quite an interesting subset: http://www.wikihow.com/Understa...­

    1 · July 14

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