The Newly Updated Guide Is Released as a Growing Chorus of Straight Supporters Is Standing Up for LGBT Equality
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and its Coming Out Project, in partnership with PFLAG National (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), the original family and ally organization, and its Straight for Equality project, today released a comprehensive update of Coming Out as a Straight Supporter.
“Straight supporters are so important to our fight for full equality for LGBT Americans,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Just as it takes an incredible amount of courage to come out as LGBT, it also takes courage to stand up and say, ‘I am a straight supporter.”
PFLAG National Executive Director Jody M. Huckaby said, “PFLAG was founded by Jeanne Manford, the Mother of the Straight Ally movement, 40 years ago: a time when standing up and saying ‘I have a gay son’ or ‘I have a lesbian friend’ was unheard of. Since she came out as an ally, we’ve seen the power of parent allies in PFLAG, and friends and colleagues through our Straight for Equality project. This guide provides support for that first step in the coming-out process for straight allies”
The resource is intended to be a welcoming guide for straight supporters to build bridges of understanding when someone they know comes out to them. The guide answers initial questions, and shares facts, strategies, and ways to show your support of LGBT equality.
The revamped resource is released as a growing chorus of high-profile straight individuals have spoken out in support of LGBT equality. President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, NFL player Brendon Ayanbadejo, actors Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard, actress/singer Beyonce Knowles, Microsoft founder and CEO Bill Gates, musicians Jason Mraz and Carrie Underwood and more have joined millions of everyday straight supporters who have stood up for their LGBT friends and relatives.
Polls in recent years show that nearly 80 percent of Americans know someone who is lesbian or gay, and a majority of Americans have a close family member, friend or coworker who is lesbian or gay.
“With National Coming Out Day approaching on October 11, this resource can prove to be an important tool in helping LGBT people and straight supporters on their coming out journeys,” Griffin said.
“It’s crucial,” says Huckaby, “that straight allies come out, too, and this is another great resource to support how they will take that action on and speak up.”
Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the original ally organization. Made up of parents, families, friends, and straight allies uniting with LGBT people, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education and advocacy. Now in its 40th anniversary year, PFLAG has more than 350 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities and rural areas in all 50 states. To learn more, please visit www.pflag.org.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.