Information on GLSEN’s Ally Week

Occurring annually in the fall, Ally Week is an event sponsored by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) for celebration in public schools nationwide.AllyWeekimage

Ally Week is promoted as a way for students to support and celebrate Allies “against anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender)” bullying and harassment. Student and teacher activities can include workshops, trainings, film screenings and “school climate” discussions.

As the case is with many GLSEN events in schools, the event sounds innocent enough–after all, most people would agree with standing against the bullying of others– until you dig deeper into the materials GLSEN is giving educators and students. In resources promoted during this event, you’ll see reflected GLSEN’s promotion of the concept that students can choose whatever gender or sexual identity they want to be along a diverse “spectrum” of sexualities.

For instance, GLSEN provides a guide to students on how to be an “Ally to transgender and gender-nonconforming” people. Students are told that “Allies to transgender and gender-nonconforming students recognize that there are infinite ways that gender can be expressed. Allies accept this diversity of gender expression and gender identity.”

Notice that there is no other choice presented to students who unwittingly sign up to be a GLSEN Ally other than to “accept” its teachings about gender.

Students are also told to “Challenge gender assumptions”  and images at their school, “from sports teams to bathrooms to pictures on school posters.”

In this guide, and in other materials for students, GLSEN encourages kids to use gender neutral pronouns such as “Zie/hir/hirs (pronounced ‘zee/heer/heers’).”

Educators are given instructions from GLSEN on how to celebrate Ally Week: “Dedicate some class time during Ally Week to discuss anti-LGBT bias in schools and the need for allies.” Educators are encouraged to use films like Straightlaced, which “…includes the perspective of teens who self-identify as straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual or questioning and represent all points of the gender spectrum.”

The film company that produced Straightlaced posted a preview of the script on its website. Here are some excerpts (featuring students speaking):

SKY: My experience is that, there’s not two genders, there’s really a spectrum. There’s everything, from boy and girl, to transgender to, uh, tomboys. And part of growing up is finding out where you fit on that spectrum. And um, I just happen to fit on the transgender line.

CHIP: I like to play with gender roles because, um, it confuses people. I like it when a guy thinks that I am a girl and then figures out that I’m not a girl, I love that. I like it when chicks you know they think I’m gay and then I hit on them and then somehow we make out that night and then they are just confused with life. I like that too.

ERIKA: … And to me gender queer, which is how I identify as, is when you are more in the middle, where you are not just switching genders, you are just moving beyond gender.


For more information on how students of faith can take a stand against bullying while also communicating God’s love and redemptive truth to fellow students, visit Day of Dialogue.