The orange ribbon was first used for Harmony Day, which coincided with the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. It has become a symbol for promoting equality throughout the world for those who have been marginalized, underrepresented and have experienced discrimination.
Being an ally is dependent on self-reflection and acknowledging how you may have internalized privilege. Furthermore, it involves addressing the oppression and disadvantages that are embedded in our society. However, most importantly, being an ally is primarily the provision of love and support for those affected by inequality.
There are many benefits of being an ally for marginalized groups, but a study into the personal benefits of LGBTQIA+ allyship investigated this further. They found individuals who aligned with being a heterosexual ally had a better sense of individual wellbeing, were better role models, and possessed an increased knowledge and understanding of the issues that they faced. (Semantics Scholar)
However, there is a difference between being an ally and taking the voice of someone who is marginalized. For example, it has become far too frequent for white people to talk over people of color about issues regarding race and ethnicity. It is always important to remember that no singular person can be representative of an entire group of people and that active listening is an essential component of allyship in modern society. (Online Library)
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