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What Is Allyship? And Other Questions You May Have

While LGBT History Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, it’s an important time for allies to reflect on their efforts in support of these individuals.

Being an ally is not a self-asserted identity, it is one that people within a community assign to others based on their efforts to combat and raise awareness for issues affected individuals face, says LGBTQ+ Services Director Michael Nunes ’16 ’18MA. Whether using “ally” or other related terms, these identities require action, which can be active or passive.

“To be an ally is to consistently and constantly go forward in your education and growth so you can actively advocate for the LGBTQ+ community,” he says. “To be an ally is to continuously work on yourself in the spaces and places [where] you can advocate for those who don’t have that ability and privilege.”

In the second installment of UCF’s three-part series in celebration of Pride Month, Nunesguides us through the importance of allyship, basic do’s and don’ts for providing support, and the need to continue educating yourself beyond this series.

“One video or conversation cannot provide everything, so doing your own due diligence to provide that education to yourself is so important,” he says.

Nunes earned a bachelor’s in psychology with a minor in criminal justice and a master’s in counselor education from UCF. He has served as director for LGBTQ+ Services since 2019 and has worked with the department since 2016.  He is also a member of the UCF Pride Faculty and Staff Association and a former member of the Delta Lambda Phi fraternity.

Interested in learning more? Below are resources available to students on campus as well as courses related to LGBTQ+ allyship.

UCF Courses on Allyship

ANT 3302 – Sex, Gender and Culture 
The traditional and changing roles of women and men viewed in a cross-cultural perspective.

COM 4014 – Gender Issues in Communication
A study of how communication exchanges, both verbal and non-verbal, differ between men and women, and how these differences are manifested.

COM 4563 – Principles of Social Innovation and Activism
This course examines and applies foundational communication knowledge, theories and skills to advocate for social justice in the modern world.

EDH 7047 Diversity in Issues in Higher Education
Introduction to theory, research and practice of historical and contemporary diversity issues, such as race, class, gender and sexuality, in American higher education as they relate to institutional issues, administrators, faculty and students.

HUM 3326 – Theories of Sex and Gender in Humanities
Historical and contemporary theories of sex and gender relevant in interdisciplinary humanities.

PLA 4886 – Sexuality, Gender and the Law Examine and analyze legal issues concerning gender and sexuality with emphasis on right to privacy, legal theories of sex and sexual orientation, and sexual discrimination.

SOW 3284 – Social Work Perspectives on Social Justice Examination of the social justice mission of the social work profession. Addresses professional values, the rights of populations served, and justice within practice fields.

SOW 3620 – Culturally Competent Social Work Practice
Social work intervention and skill development needed to serve oppressed groups.

SOW 4673 – Social Work Practice: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (+) Experience
Sexual orientation and cultural diversity, policies and resources affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (+) people, community based therapeutic and preventive interventions.

SOW 5132 – Diverse Client Populations
Study of human diversity, focusing on the needs, resources, problems and service issues of several identified minority client populations.

SYD 3800 – Sex and Gender in Society 
Examination of sex and gender in society, as reflected in social norms, attitudes and beliefs, public and private practices, and social institutions.

WST 3500 – Gender Issues and Community Activism
A study of how communication exchanges, both verbal and non-verbal, differ between men and women, and how these differences are manifested.

Resources

–National 

Human Rights Campaign is one of the most effective mainstream advocacy organizations in the country whose goal is to ensure that all LGBTQ people — particularly those who are transgender, people of color and HIV+ — are treated as full and equal citizens.

Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies.

–Central Florida Area 

LGBTQ History Museum of Central Florida is an organization that digitally collects, preservers and exhibits history of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in the region.

OneOrlando Alliance, which formed as a result of the Pulse nightclub tragedy in 2016, is now a coalition of over 40 service-based organizations that provide LGBTQ+ specific programs to the Orlando community.

The Center promotes and empowers the LGBT community and its allies through information, education, advocacy and support.

Zebra Coalition is a network of organizations which provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all youth (LGBTQ+) ages 13 – 24.

–At UCF 

Alliance Mentoring Program connects UCF students who identify within the LGBTQ+ community with an LGBTQ+ faculty or staff mentor.

Career Services counselors have gone through training and programs to best work with and address the concerns LGBTQ+ students have related to future employment. Read more about their tips for LGBTQ internship and job seekers.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free mental health counseling to all students and is available for consultation to the university community. CAPS is dedicated to providing these services in an atmosphere that is welcoming and comfortable for all, regardless of race, gender, ethnic background, age, sexual orientation, citizenship or physical ability.

Delta Lambda Phi Fraternity provides brotherhood and growth opportunities for gay, bisexual, transgender, and progressive men.

Green Dot is a bystander intervention training program that aims to reduce power-based personal violence on campus by training students, faculty, and staff how to become active bystanders.

Lavender Council is a student advisory board that serves as a liaison between students, faculty, and staff and LGBTQ+ Services that works to make UCF a more accepting, welcoming and equitable campus.

LGBTQI+ Medical Students and Allies Group is a College of Medicine organization that raises awareness for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning patients, individuals and healthcare providers.

LGBTQ+ Services connects our diverse student population to opportunities, resources and each other to achieve the vision of a stronger, healthier and more equitable world for LGBTQ+ people and its allies.

Multicultural Student Center aims to create a more inclusive and equitable campus environment that enriches the university experience through actively supporting diverse and intentional programming.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers training for students, faculty and staff in a variety of topics, with workshops including Safe Zone LGBTQ+ 101, Gender Difference in Communication, and Inclusive Communication. All workshops are free unless otherwise noted.

Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at the University of Central Florida (O-STEM at UCF) promotes professional development while uniting students of STEM majors and LGBTQ+ identities.

Pride Faculty and Staff Association provides quality programming, networking opportunities, and guidance to UCF’s LGBTQ+ students, faculty, and staff on all UCF campuses. Membership is open to all current and retired UCF faculty and staff regardless of age, race, gender, gender expression, creed, nationality, faith/non-faith system, or sexual orientation, who support the mission and goals of PFSA as outlined in the bylaws.

Pride Student Association is committed to celebrating and unifying the LGBTQ+ community on the UCF campus.

Social Justice and Advocacy supports efforts to increase equal access to campus resources and opportunities, while cultivating inclusiveness to the least advantaged members of the campus community.

Student Legal Services is available for consultation if you think you have been discriminated against due to being LGBTQ+.

UCF Libraries Diversity and Education: LGBTQ Resources is a list of online books, encyclopedias, and handbooks.

UCF Libraries GLBTQ Resources is a collection of historical resources related to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer history.

Nicole Dudenhoefer ’17 | Video by Brandon Brown ’18
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Tags: College of Community Innovation and Education College of Health Professions and Sciences College of Sciences Inclusive Excellence LGBTQ Services pride UCF Alumni

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