How To Be a Teammate and Ally

    Being a teammate means showing support, and so does being an ally. It’s Pride, a month during which the LGBTQ+ community celebrates its history. Pride means different things to different people. For some, it’s a time to remember and educate, for others a celebration, and for some an opportunity to come out. Allyship is so important to the LGBTQ+ community, but it can be hard to know where to start. We’ve come up with some tips on how to be a better ally to your fellow socceristas. 



    Coming out can be a very difficult thing to do. If a teammate confides this part of themselves in you, the best thing you can do is listen. You might not always know what to say, and that’s fine; being a pair of open ears is invaluable. If you can be an outlet for someone going through this kind of journey, that’s a big step in being an ally. Listening for an ally is so important, much more so than becoming a mouthpiece. If your teammate can speak for themselves, let them. As an ally and a teammate, you are back-up, not the front line. 



    The old saying “knowledge is power” has survived this long because it’s true. Learning and understanding things are the best way to protect them. The LGBTQ+ community as we know it today has gone through so much and still is. To be a better ally, learn about the history. Read about Stonewall and the Lavender Scare. Study up on Sylvia Rivera and Frank Kamney. If you understand where things have come from, it’s easier to see where they’re headed. 


    Stand Up 

    This is so important, especially today. Standing up for what is right and for the rights of people everywhere is at the heart of allyship. Just the same as you would demand a yellow card after a particularly bad foul on your teammate, stand up for the LGBTQ+ community. Don’t be afraid to get loud and say something when you see harassment or discrimination. 



    Being a member of a team is a very special thing. Not everyone is built for team sports. But socceristas know exactly what support is about. Coming to grips with your sexual and/or gender identity can be a battle, both inside and in society. All the steps we’ve gone over–listening, learning, standing up–are all methods of support. Whether it’s picking them up when they’re down, cheering them on to victory, or just leaning on each other to get to the goal, support is innate in teamwork and allyship. 


    Being a good ally is just the same as being a good teammate. Your responsibilities are to understand and advocate, not speak for. To be a shoulder to cry or lean on, a pair of hands to raise up, an open mind, and willing pair of ears. Learn about the struggles, listen to your teammates’ stories, support them when they need you, and stand up for them when they need you.


    Featured Image Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images



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