You Are Collective has always had firm beliefs and values in inclusivity and giving the same amount of love and effort to everyone. We're not perfect - by any means. We are learning - every day. What it means to be an ALLY, a partner, a supporter, a peer, a friend, a community collaborator. We learn from so many incredible, amazing people who have been educating themselves and educating others for years and years. People who experience diversity and marginalism challenges. People who are judged and questioned for their identity and sexuality. We, shamefully, haven't taken the time to educate ourselves enough.
Which is why creating The 'Pride 2020' Collection was so important to us.
It's not a show or rainbow wash simply to be forgotten after the glitter of pride is swept away (speaking personally - still finding purple sparkles from the Sugarplum Ball). It's a commitment to our partners, our fierce leaders, our brave individuals far and wide, near and dear who identify and are allies of the LGBTQ2IA+ community. We took this as a huge opportunity to inform ourselves, make it a priority to stay educated, and commitment to always be an ally to our diverse community.
Before talking with individuals, reading and hearing experiences, and being part of the conversation, my answer to What Is An ALLY would've been different. It would've been something along the lines of ensuring there's acceptance and inclusivity, providing support etc. Not really knowing the true meaning of those words. Now, it's someone who supports and expresses a positive influence on a person, group, or community. To us, being an ally is standing up for what's right even when no one is looking. It's about creating a community where people are celebrated, supported, and can be themselves. Honestly, it's about being a more active than passive ALLY.
Our community contributed to this incredible description that now shapes our ALLY products of The 'Pride 2020' Collection, check out what they had to say:
"To me, being an #ALLY is standing up for your friends/family when they can't. But also stepping back and letting their voices be heard." - Tor Boughton
"Being an #ALLY means using my privilege to advocate for marginalized groups." - Alyssa Steinhubl
"Being an #ALLY means creating an inclusive community where all are welcome, heard, and seen." -ChickPeace Planet
"Being an #ALLY is being a safe place for everyone. We work hard to make our home safe for anyone." -Erika Dowell
What It Means To Have An Ally
This is something we simply couldn't answer. We've had support, and encouragement when it comes to our mental health and other things. But understanding the true impact of an Ally on the LGBTQ2IA+ community had to be explained by someone who identifies as a member of this community. Tor Broughton, a transgender boy in Kelowna, has become a passionate and incredible speaker on gender inclusivity doing interviews, workshops, and even a Ted talk! We sat down with his family for an episode of GRATEFULS and he shared what it has meant to have his parents, friends, family, and greater community become his ally's:
What Does Ally Mean To You?
We want to hear from you! Send us a video, leave a comment, share with us on social media ... and let us know what allyship means to you. Why is it important? How does it impact you? How can we be better allies? Let's YAC about it!