In relation to issues of depression, an ally is defined as "a person who is a member of the 'dominant' or 'majority' group who works to end oppression in their personal and professional life through support of, and as an advocate with and for, the oppressed population." Courtesy of the Human Rights Campaign.
According to GLSEN's 2011 National School Climate Survey, a majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students feel unsafe at school and are likely to skip class or even days of school out of fear for personal safety. The research also indicates that students who can identify a supportive faculty/staff member or student group are more likely to feel a sense of belonging at their schools than those who cannot. For many students, the presence of allies to whom they can turn for support - or even the simple knowledge that allies exist - can be a critical factor in developing a positive sense of self, building community, coping with bias, and working to improse school climate. Safe Zone programs therefore seek to increase the visible presence of student and adult allies who can help to shape a school culture that is accepting for all.
Allies promote equality regarding sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace and university.