Avan Jogia, aka "Victorious" hunk Beck Oliver, has a message just for Act, an invitation to start or join an LGBT alliance in your school, rallying straight students who are fed up with bullying and are ready to stand up for their queer peers. It's called Straight But Not Narrow.
Straight But Not Narrow. It fits. Not narrow-minded, not a slave to a narrow perspective. Not too chicken to be a power of example, to stand secure in personal beliefs. Straight guys (and gals) who are wide open to social change. Just released research from the Centers for Disease Control confirmed that gay and bisexual teens are more likely to engage in substance abuse, violence and self-harm--which doesn't come as a surprise, given the evidence of lingering social stigma and a notable lack of legal protection against discrimination.
LGBT rights and anti-bullying initiatives are two of today's leading causes, alongside campaigns working on behalf of girls and women around the world. Just a few years ago, activists and organizations spearheaded by men started popping up, providing a voice for male allies in the women's rights space. The United Nations effort UNITE to End Violence Against Women grew out of this movement, as did Men Engage and Man Up, to name a few. Since then, the topic of defending and empowering girls around the world has been a primary platform at Clinton Global Initiative conferences, United Nations priorities and global nonprofit focus.
If Straight But Not Narrow has its way, the same will be said for gay alliances. It's Pride month, after all, the time to rally, wear rainbows and stand up on behalf of basic civil rights. Watch below for the backstory on Avan's affection for pink shirts, his commitment to the cause and the reasons you should get involved today.
Encourage your friends and fellow allies to follow SBNN and tweet out the sentiments to help be a part of historic cultural change.
Build Your GSA
The Gay-Straight Alliance Network has tips and info on building and connecting an alliance club in your school.