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What does it mean to be an LGBTQ ally?

Posted June 27, 2021 by Summa Health Pride Clinic

hand holding a rainbow band that says "Pride Ally"

Anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, can support the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning) community. But being an ally of this population takes action. Allies work to stay informed on current LGBT issues and events. They speak up for what’s right and they support equality by fighting for policies that protect LGBTQ individuals from discrimination.

Allies are important and welcomed supporters of the LGBTQ movement, as they have one of the most powerful, influential voices. They help create a platform for activism to fight homophobia and transphobia, and they personally advocate for equal treatment for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation.  

As we get ready to celebrate Pride Month in June, Summa Health’s Employee Resource Group, A+PLUs (Allies and People Like Us) wants to commemorate this year’s festivities by talking about what the “A” in A+PLUs represents. What does it mean to be a true ally to the LGBTQ community?

We asked sisters, nieces, friends and colleagues to provide a perspective on what being an ally for the LGBTQ population means to them. What we found is that each interpretation was very personal and individualized, and each of our allies bring a unique form of support to the LGBTQ population. 

Here are some testimonials from Summa Health employees of what it means to be an ally to the LGBTQ population: 



  • “Being an LGBTQ ally means unconditional kindness with no judgment at all of another’s life experiences. Really, this should apply to not only being an ally, but to being a human being. Unconditional kindness is something our world needs more than ever. It is telling someone, ‘I know that I do not understand what it is like to have lived your story, but I am here to listen if you want to share it with me.’  In my practice as an HIV provider, I see every day the traumatizing effects that stigma can have on a person. We work together to help patients rise above the pain of stigma, to find acceptance and love themselves.” – Dr. Amy Hite, CARE Center Director

  • “Being an ally to me is advocating together and reaching further as an ‘ally team’ to spread knowledge, awareness and mutual respect for all humans, regardless of sexual orientation, preference or belief. It’s about recognizing and accepting the special attributes of all people.” – Jackie Trainor


  • “For me, being an ally is a full-time commitment to diversity, inclusion and respect. It’s easy to say “Love is love,” but making sure these words are put into action every single day is what being an ally is all about for me. It’s a physical, emotional, spiritual, financial and political commitment to ensuring that members of our LGBTQ+ community are free to walk the sidewalks in any city, to have a safe home, to live where and with whomever they want, and to love who they love without fear, violence, and reservation. As the nurse for Summa Health’s Pride Clinic, it’s the professional outward expression of who I have been for as long as I remember.” – Pam Carlson

  • "I've always believed "Love is Love" and had respect and empathy for the LGBTQ+ community. When our first born shared that he is Transmasculine two years ago, that propelled me head first into what it really means to be an ally. Through research, support groups, reading and self-reflection I've deepened my understanding of the true needs of the LGBTQ+ community, from healthcare to safety to employment discrimination. I strongly believe in equal rights and affirming and respectful healthcare for all marginalized communities. I'm so proud of Summa Health for opening the Pride Clinic!" – Andra Polasky

    For more information on the Summa Health Pride Clinic, visit 


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