What is an ally? An ally is someone who directly supports and brings awareness to issues and problems surrounding oppressed communities. An LGBTQ+ ally is proactively working towards equality for the community and making it known that policies and social conversations should aid those who are subject to ill-treatment. An ally steps up for those who might not have a voice. Because of their circumstances, they are able to speak for a community that needs visibility or support. This means that an ally builds trust with the members of the community so they can better understand and be there for those who might be oppressed within society.
If you want to learn more about this community read about what it means to be an ally here.
The ally flag today
Although the creator of the straight ally flag is unknown, it was first seen in the early 2000s where it was waved at various pride events. The flag represents unity and the inclusive world that allies fight for with the LGBTQ+ community. The flag is black and white which is notoriously known to be the colors that represent straight sexuality, but adds on a rainbow letter “A” to symbolize the support of the LGBTQ+ community.
Below is a breakdown of what the colors and symbols of this flag represent.
- Letter A: Stands for the word ally.
- Black and White: Represents the straight flag.
- Rainbow Colors Within the ‘A’: Represents the LGBTQ+ community.
The straight flag
It is important to preface this section with the following: this is not an alternative to the straight ally pride flag. The straight flag was created to demonstrate “straight pride” which was a homophobic movement with the goal of diminishing LGBTQ+ voices. The straight flag was created in the early 2000s and was meant to imitate the nature of the rainbow pride flag. Although there are multiple variations, the black-and-white rendition is the most common representing the black and whiteness of being heterosexual. Although pride flags are usually important in terms of visibility for many communities, this flag does more harm than good. Because heterosexual individuals are not marginalized for their sexual orientation the use of a flag such as the one above can be used to harm oppressed communities. For example, in 2019 the American organization Super Happy Fun America gathered in Boston to conduct a straight pride parade. This display of hatred was damaging and essentially was intended to show they did not support the LGBTQ+ community.
Ally pride flag controversy
Although this flag did not cause any intense controversy and many members of the community don’t find an ally flag to be a problem, there are still some issues present surrounding conversations about the flag.
Yet another gross dude to hate
For instance some community members find the existence of the flag to be unnecessary. They believe having a flag that demonstrates support is pointless and instead just waving the original LGBTQ+ rainbow flag sends across a better message. Because the heterosexual community is not marginalized, some members of the community feel as though they don’t need a flag to show pride since LGBTQ+ flags were created to bring visibility and awareness to an oppressed group of people.
Want to learn more about being an ally?
It is no secret that an ally is someone who is well-educated on the issues that marginalized communities face. On top of being educated an ally takes this a further step by then acting upon it and finding ways to help support the LGBTQ+ community. If they notice there is a protest, they join, if a petition needs to be signed, they sign it, and most importantly if someone needs a friend they are there for them.
If you resonate with these ideas or want to learn more click here.
The bottom line is representation matters. Flags are a necessary tool when it comes to representing a community, identity, or sexuality. Putting up an ally flag or wearing it on a t-shirt shows appreciation and support for the LGBTQ+ community. This is not only important for community members who want to feel unified, but also for visibility purposes. The colors and symbols on a flag show the world what it means to be a part of that community and give everyone a chance to show their pride.
In addition, be sure to learn about the other identities that make up the LGBTQ+ community subscribe to the INTO newsletter to learn more.
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