Ally Week 2012: Amobi Okugo
Ally Week, a celebration of straight allies who stand up for the LGBT community, wraps up tomorrow with Spirit Day.
Today we get thoughts from Philadelphia Union defender and US U-23 team member Amobi Okugo:
I’m an ally because I support the cause and like what this group is doing to raise awareness in the sports community. One of my best friend’s brothers is gay and he dealt with that by hiding his personality just to fit in with the soccer team he played on. I know how hard it was for him so when I saw this chance, I said ‘why not’. . . .An ally to me means that I should set an example and practice what I preach in terms of treating everyone the same way.
Our fan voice today is Fran Harrington, who is the leader of the Midnight Riders, a supporters group of the New England Revolution.
Why are you an LGBT Ally? “When I’m not in the Fort at Revs games I live in an incredibly diverse and socially aware neighborhood (Jamaica Plain, woot-woot!), and I feel incredibly lucky to be part of such a vibrant and inclusive community. When people aren’t getting hung up on sexual orientation and gender identity they can actually come together as friends and neighbors (or teammates and supporters). This is something I hope to see happen more and more and I will gladly do my part in working towards this.”
What does being an LGBT Ally mean to you? “Not being afraid to speak up against homophobia, no matter where it may occur.”
Thank you to Amobi, Fran, and all of our allies this Ally Week. Don’t forget to go purple tomorrow for Spirit Day!