Back in August Red Hot wrote about how Jack Antonoff and the other members of the band Fun. were doing great things for LGBTQ rights, and passed around the rumor on the street that they were thinking of starting their own organization. This past week that rumor became a reality, with Fun. and fashion designer Rachel Antonoff unveiling an organization I’m really excited about: The Ally Coalition, whose mission is to, “create a coalition of allies that will aid and encourage our fellow artists and people from every walk of life to use their voices and influence to end discrimination against LGBTQ people.”
Many approach LGBTQ inequailty as a “gay rights” issue, but The Ally Coalition is unique in that it highlights the importance of everyone coming together to speak out against inequality, regardless of sexual orientation. The site for TAC defines an ally simply as a person who, “supports equal civil rights, gender equality, LGBTQ social movements, and actively challenges homophobia and transphobia”, and the organization serves as a place to give these allies a support system and community that they haven’t really had before.
Rachel Antonoff voiced the opinion of allies everywhere in her letter to members on the TAC site, explaining, “The notion that, in the face of true injustice, one must be a member of an oppressed group to be bothered is all too common. We as Americans MUST recognize that these inequalities are not “gay rights” issues but rather human rights issues.” I think there is the potential of serious power behind The Ally Coalition that is going to take everyone by surprise – for the first time, there is a unified outlet for the all voices of supporters to be heard, and I think those in opposition will stop and take notice once they realize how many of us there really are.
An important message the coalition emphasizes is that apathy is even more toxic than hate. The idea that the former is less volatile than the latter is a common misconception in relation to any issue. There is a significant difference between having an opinion and having your thoughts turn into a physical imposition on another’s rights; view LGBTQ citizens as you like, but no one has a right to treat another human being as lower than themselves. Working with TAC to spread advocacy, awareness, and education is a way to take huge step forward in having every person come to this realization.
Another bonus is that The Ally Coalition is already paired with many existing reputable organizations such as Human Rights Campaign, NOH8, Revel & Riot, and The Trevor Project. TAC is in the unique position to be geared towards those in the entertainment, fashion, and music communites, and Fun. will help get the word out this fall when they embark on a Campus Consciousness Tour and perform at Freedom To Love Now! A Concert For Marriage Equality. You can follow what’s new with The Ally Coalition via their blog, Facebook, or Twitter, where the team said volunteer opportunities will be coming up soon. See you there?
“Our moment in history will be looked at under a microscope for the rest of time. It is both a privilege and a burden to live in these times, but no matter how we rationalize the oppression of fellow citizens, we will inevitably be faced with one question in the near future: how did we as Americans allow our LGBTQ citizens to be treated as second-class ones? It is the question that all Americans will ask in the future but should ask today.” – Jack Antonoff, in The Huffington Post