North Dakota isn’t an easy place to live as an out LGBTQ person in terms of protections and social climate. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) rated Bismarck a dismal 14 out of 100 points on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2013 Municipal Equality Index, which measures a city’s non-discrimination laws, relationship recognition, employment and law enforcement protections, municipal services, and overall relationship with LGBTQ people. Given the current climate in North Dakota, it’s vital that allies speak out more – more in number, more in frequency, and more in public.
GLADD says, “LGBT people are our mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins. This is a fact and it isn’t going away. You have the opportunity to be an ally and a friend at home, school, church, and work. A straight ally can merely be someone who is supportive and accepts the LGBT person, or a straight ally can be someone who personally advocates for equal rights and fair treatment. Allies are some of the most effective and powerful voices of the LGBT movement. Not only do allies help people in the coming out process, they also help others understand the importance of equality, fairness, acceptance, and mutual respect.”