Being More Than An Ally During PRIDE Month And Beyond

As a social worker and licensed therapist, I’m required to earn a number of Continuing Education Credits, or “CEU’s” during a three-year licensing period. These credits come in various forms, including attending presentations by experts and innovators in the field. One such expert I had the pleasure of listening to was Crystal Rozelle-Bennett, a trauma-informed therapy expert, who led a dynamic discussion about the differences between being an “ally” to The LGBTQ+ community and being a “co-conspirator.” To paraphrase Crystal, being a passive supporter of the concept of inclusion is fine, but being someone who actually helps do the work (providing safe spaces, advocating for legislation that prohibits discrimination, community organization activities, etc.) is better. I’ll never forget her line “‘Ally’ is a verb.” Solano County is fortunate to have an agency in town that provides actual services and advocacy for our LGBTQ+ neighbors: The Solano PRIDE Center. Established 26 years ago, the center’s new Executive Director Will McGarvey was a guest on my show recently, where we discussed the role we all play as community members in creating an inclusive, supportive community for all citizens.

What can YOU do to be more than an ally? Start by doing more than wearing the cool “PRIDE Design” vans like I’m wearing in the above-photo, and actively support inclusion in the community you live in. Financially support efforts to promote more inclusive laws. And invite members of the advocacy community into your life/business/places of worship to allow the message of inclusion to be heard by more people 🙂