A colorful message of love and equality is spreading around the globe thanks to one group of students at a Maryland high school. Allies 4 Equality, the gay-straight alliance at James Hubert Blake High School, created a downloadable paper doll that you can print out and display in photographs to show support for LGBT rights.
The project is called Allie the Ally. At a time when anti-gay bullying is on the rise and contributing to teen suicides, Allie is a way to promote safe-spaces for LGBT youth and show anyone dealing with homophobia that they’re not alone.
From the Allie the Ally tumblr:
Our goal for this project is to spread awareness of LGBTQ issues, and to give hope to LGBTQ youth that maybe be struggling with acceptance, from others or themselves. We hope to post pictures and messages from people and groups from all over the world to demonstrate the level of support that is available for LGBTQ youth.
According to The Washington Post, the students’ project has been wildly successful. Since her debut in November, Allie has traveled to multiple continents, hung out with celebrities such as George Lopez and even made an appearance with Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Delegate Anne R. Kaiser.
“Allie’s been to Vietnam and Poland and Australia,” said Jenna Beers, the Allies 4 Equality student president.
Allie has helped highlight the GSA’s other activism efforts, such as a No-Name-Calling week and a Day of Silence to raise awareness of the impact of hurtful language. The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network honored the Allies 4 Equality with a national leadership award.
“[We recognize] the profound impact peer leadership can have on creating a safer school climate,” Eliza Byard, GLSEN’s executive director, said in a statement about the group. “[Allies 4 Equality] not only transformed its school community, but also reached countless people across the country and around the world.”
Image via Allie the Ally tumblr