DCU LGBTA celebrates Ally Fortnight

DCU’s LGBTA has celebrated its ally members with Ally Fortnight, encouraging students to support issues affecting LGBT people, such as gay marriage, and to identify why they are an ally.

An ally is someone who does not identify as LGBT, yet actively campaigns for LGBT rights and for equality in issues such as marriage and adoption.

Oisin Cotter, LGBTA chairperson, highlighted the importance of allies not just around DCU, but in society as a whole. “Because the LGBT community is so small it’s hard to be vocal without allies. If a referendum (for marriage equality) goes ahead, to get it passed the vote has to be over 50 per cent. This is where allies are important.”

Meadhbh McDermott, the society’s Allied Officer, said the LGBTA needs its allied members to become more involved in the events held by the society. “It’s among the lower represented letters in the society. Gay or lesbian people would join for support, whereas allies would join because one of their friends or family members is gay. In order to fight for gay rights, we need to have straight people involved.”

Among the events ran by the society over the last fortnight was the “I’m An Ally Because” campaign, where students identified the reasons they are an ally. Cotter called it “phenomenal”. “So many people have liked and shared them on Facebook. Even people from New York and Holland have gotten behind the campaign.”

An LGBT magazine in Atlanta, Georgia has liked and commented on several of the photos. SU members and DCU staff have also supported the event.

As well as the poster campaign, the society also hosted a “Bring a Straight Friend Game Night” an open mic night with DCU Music Soc.

This event is the first of its kind by the society, and both Cotter and McDermott hope it will become an annual event.

Aoife Bennett

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