The Ally Coalition: What Do You Stand For?Samantha Kirschberg

I’ve written about fun. and I’ve written about how I support human rights. I’m here, now, to bring those two together. The Ally Coalition (TAC) is a non-profit organization started by Nate, Jack and Andrew of fun. and Rachel Antonoff, Jack’s fashion designer sister. The coalition was announced in October. A lot of high schools have something called the Gay Straight Alliance- a club that shows support to everyone and sticks up for human rights. This is like a much bigger version of that.

The band has been active in sharing their voice in different organizations, including Human Rights Campaign and The Trevor Project. They have an awesome shirt with Revel & Riot stating, “It’s all fun. and gay ’til someone loses their rights.” (It’s their biggest seller!) They mention the issue in their song ‘One Foot’- “What you’re calling a sin isn’t up to them. After all, I thought we were all your children.” Back in February, Jack wrote a brilliant article for The Huffington Post discussing his beliefs on being an ally, human rights and what should be done. The forming of The Ally Coalition was the next step in the fight.

TAC raises awareness for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning/queer) equality and the fight against discrimination through advocacy and education. Working with peers in the fashion, music and entertainment industry to help spread the word and join the fight. It inspires people to support people.  Everyone has a voice and everyone has an audience. Some people just don’t know where they can voice their beliefs on equality. The coalition creates a safe place for people to be allies and helps encourage those to use their voice.

It’s not about fighting for gay rights. It’s about fighting for human rights- the rights everyone should have. It’s the right thing to do, to fight for, to stand up for, to believe in. Just because someone loves someone of the same sex means they can’t have the same privileges. It just doesn’t make any sense to me. Why would you want to deprive someone basic civil rights? Look at your own life, would you like to be treated differently and looked at as a second-class citizen? No, of course not. It’s just mean.

I am straight and yes, I have gay friends and family members in my life. I am not only fighting for their rights, I am also fighting for how the world should see things. “It gets better.” Sure, for kids growing up, it definitely does. But let’s help make it even better. Let’s all come together and show that love conquers all. We can help eliminate the hate and inspire a generation.

Nate had the giggles talking about his overnight coughing fit and Andrew explained a 'how do you stop this coffin?' joke. (It was hilarious and cute.)

Most recently, The Ally Coalition partnered up with REVERB and Ben & Jerry’s as part of the REVERB Campus Consciousness Tour. (Fitting that the band partnered with B&J because fun. could have been named ‘Ice Cream’.) The tour was part concert and part social consciousness campaign. The CCT is usually only focused on promoting environmental issues, but this year they decided to add in educating concert goers on LGBTQ equality. During the CCT panel, Jack said, “Our shows had become a place where homophobia didn’t exist and anyone can be.”

At the tour kickoff, they talked about being proud that we have a president who supports gay marriage and that Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay U.S. Senator, was elected. Two huge steps in the right direction for the LGBTQ community. At the concert the night before, Nate discussed Obama being elected in 2008. He was living in Arizona and saw a billboard with George Bush’s face that said, “Have you had enough?” And out loud he said, “I’ve had enough.” Yep, that’s a line in their song ‘Barlights’. He wanted to share why he wrote it and how happy he was that Obama was reelected.

If you agree with what The Ally Coalition stands for, become an ally. They have a membership for as low as $5. The donation helps benefit LGBTQ awareness organizations like Revel & Riot and Mainers United for Marriage. You can also make your own PSA video or write your own statement card showing why you are an ally. Fellow HelloGiggles writer, Corinne Caputo and I both made one at the Campus Consciousness Tour kick-off at the Bowery Ballroom. You can see us in the video below!

So grab some Ben & Jerry’s, turn on some fun. songs, dance around in your Rachel Antonoff dress and think about what you want to write on your statement card! You can print one out or make one when you go to a fun. show. Inspire and support each other! Join me, Corinne, fun., Rachel and all the allies in making your voice heard.

What do you stand for?

Images by Lindsey Byrnes and Reid Rolls.

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