Dancing With The StarsKarina Smirnoff: I Am An Ally!



By Karina Smirnoff

After getting asked so many questions about Margaret Cho and the rainbow dress she wore on Dancing With The Stars, it got me thinking about my own role as an ally of the gay community. I am writing this article for dot429because I want to be more vocal and publicly express that I am a gay ally.Hopefully I can encourage more people to come out as allies of the movement. After the recent teen suicides, it is clear that gay youthneed our support right now.

A lot of my closest friends are gay and more than half of my dancing coaches have been gay.Espen Salberg, the man who created me and let me shine as a dancer, was gay.I love my friends and my coaches for who they are as people.Who cares what anyone does behind closed doors — it is nobody else’s business.

I think the problem in America right now is that parents need to teach their children love and acceptance. People need to stop teaching kids to hate.When bullying happens, we need to look not just at the kids who are bullying, but at the parents that are raising these children.I believe that bullying is a problem of upbringing.I think the mostbeautiful thingabout this country is that it is made up of people from every part of the world, every race, and every sexual orientation.We need to accept everyone for who they are as people and we all need to be allies of each other.

Most of us have at least one friend, relative, co-worker, or child that is gay.The point is, we know someone or are related to someone that is gay. It is for them that we must be vocal and show our support for the gay community.It is important for those of us that are straight not to just stand on the sidelines, but support the movement by getting involved.

On October 20th, everyone is supposed to wear purple in honor of the gay youth who recently committed suicide.I’ll be wearing my purple! Not only do I love the color purple, but I love what it stands for on this day.Whether I wear my purple tights, purple leather jacket, or a purple t-shirt, I am going to show that I am an ally.

Life is hard enough to hate others and to bully others. One of the gifts we have been given is the ability to love.

Check out Karina’s website at: www.KarinaSmirnoff.com

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