Widgets Magazine

Q&A: “Ally Week”

 

“Ally Week” is a one-week series of events designed to rally allies in support of Stanford’s LGBTQ community, held from Feb. 27 to March 2. The Daily spoke with Elizabeth Avendaño ’14, one of the organizers of “Ally Week ”.

 

The Stanford Daily (TSD): What is an “ally”?

 

Elizabeth Avendaño (EA): Broadly defined, an ally is somebody who actively stands up for whatever cause that they do not necessarily identify with personally.

 

TSD: What is “Ally Week” and what will it consist of?

 

EA: This is the first year Ally Week is running. We have a variety of events–from panels in different communities, like the Asian and Latin communities, [to] a rally at White Plaza at noon on Friday.

 

TSD: What is the goal of “Ally Week”?

 

EA: Our goal is to have as many people who support gay rights or have gay friends as possible to actively ally with us. Sometimes allies don’t know how to enter the community so Friday especially will be a symbolic way for them to be able to join us and show their support.

 

TSD: What is the best way for Stanford students to support your efforts?

 

EA: Stanford students can [support us] by coming to some of our events, especially the rally, which is the most important. There are also a lot of ways on campus to combat homophobia through various groups and initiatives so we encourage students to take up these chances to stand up for our queer communities.

 

TSD: What makes “Ally Week” important?

 

EA: Ally Week is important because we are reaching outside the LGBTQ community and showing our support. We are excited to involve students and provide a forum where they can ask questions and talk about their issues and engage in a conversation.

 

TSD: How do you respond to those who may disapprove of “Ally Week”?

 

EA: I think that they should come to the events we have so that they can engage in dialogue with the allies. People often forget that a personal connection in the issue can make them see the situation very differently. This does not mean that they will change their mind but it is always good to learn more about the issues you agree or disagree with.

 

“Ally Week” is co-sponsored by the Queer Straight Alliance, Stanford Students for Queer Liberation, Queer & Asian, Safe and Open Spaces at Stanford, El Centro Chicano, La Familia de Stanford and the LGBT Community Resource Center.

 

-Natasha Weaser