As is the custom at QSaltLake, we tend to focus on our allies during the month of October. Personally, I am extremely grateful for the love, support and friendship shown to the LGBTQ community by our allies. When I think of allies, and people who have a true impact, there is one underlying feature which continually resurfaces. These people are all great friends.
In our current society, many modern social problems continue to arise, and experts have begun to determine that the cause may be directly linked to ignoring the importance of friendship.
Aristotle said, “In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. They keep the young out of mischief; they comfort and aid the old in their weakness, and they incite those in the prime of life to noble deeds.” Friendships are vital for wellbeing, but they take time to develop and can’t be artificially created. No wonder they are at risk of being neglected.
The value of friendship is something that few people take time to really appreciate. When you need a friend, you realize just how important it is to have a strong relationship to another person. Everyone values friendships, but it’s especially important as members of the LGBTQ community. In our current political climate, we are constantly in need of others to help fight our cause. The allies who support us are constant reminders that what we want is worth fighting for. Their voices comingled with ours help to ensure that we are heard.
One value of friendship, which many find extremely important, is the companionship aspect of it. No one wants to be alone, and in many cases our friends are the ones who help us from doing “stupid” things. Another valuable aspect of friendship is that friends often provide helpful advice for one another. Often in life we have problems or situations in which we feel we cannot turn to our families, but rather, we need our friends. Having friends means not only that you will have someone to help you get through a situation that you need help with, but it also is an opportunity to get advice from your peers. No matter what the issue may be, having a friend to provide advice is a priceless asset.
The allies we have are great friends. They provide us many of the traits I have listed above, but we must do our part as well. Being a friend is a two-way street. The quality of friendship is more important than quantity. So, ask yourself, are you returning the friendship which has been extended to our community? Are you someone who has meaningful connections beyond merely being surrounded by people?
Thank you to our allies who are truly our friends. Behind each one of us is one of you helping to encourage us to press on. Together we can make a difference.