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Anyone Can Be An Ally

Speaking Up for an LGBT Inclusive Workplace

When gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people don't feel safe and valued at work, their productivity goes down, and the organization may fail in their efforts to attract and retain the best and brightest talent. Many organizations realize this, and have created clear policies on the issues. But in order for the climate to change, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people need "allies" to speak up.

  • Explains why the issues facing LGBT people are relevant to the workplace
  • Helps employees understand similarities and any differences with these co-workers
  • Gives the organization indicators for policies with regard to equal opportunity and respect

This product does not have:
  • Sample Training Guide
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Anyone Can Be An Ally

Run time: 14 Minutes

In this comprehensive training program, diversity consultant Brian McNaught demonstrates how anyone can be an ally to create a respectful workplace that is inclusive of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender co-workers. While the intent of the training is to put a face on the issues confronting LGBT workers, it is not about changing the beliefs of others - it's about changing behaviors and creating a respectful environment for everyone in the organization.

Real people from both sides of the issues tell their stories and points of view. Gay men, lesbians, a bisexual and a transgender person each share their experiences as related to the fears and treatment they face in the workplace. Countered with them are people with religious and social convictions who have their own point of view. Through these stories and experiences, Brian shows how the viewer can learn to become an ally (or just a more welcoming co-worker) to those of a different persuasion.

Learning Objectives:
  • Put a face on the issues that confront LGBT people in the workplace
  • Recognize the important role of becoming and being an ally
  • Learn what to say and when, and how to get your words and "music" in sync
  • Practice skills in being an ally to those whom you may be uncomfortable with in the workplace

Training Goals:
  • To create a workplace in which everyone feels welcome
  • To build understanding of behaviors which are considered welcoming or unwelcoming
  • To allow people to practice skills in stepping forward to make all colleagues feel completely comfortable and able to give 100% of themselves to the job

The Training Program Includes:
  • Main Video: written and hosted by Brian.
  • FAQ: Brian answers the questions he's asked the most in his presentations.
  • Tom's Story: This is a personal story that Brian tells at all his workshops. It's about creating a workplace that's welcoming for a closeted gay co-worker to come out. This can put a face on the issue.
  • Guided Imagery: Brian takes viewers on a journey to learn what it would be like to be straight in a gay world. This exercise can help open people up to look at the issue from a new angle.
  • Interview with Brian: This conversation is intended for the facilitator. Brian shares more about the challenges of doing this work, and how best to use this program.
  • The support material for the facilitator is designed for flexible use. It offers a lesson plan and prompts for the facilitator to conduct a discussion-oriented training session, as well as optional modules that use the Extra Features to expand and deepen the session.

Brian McNaught is considered the world's leading corporate diversity consultant dealing with LGBT issues in the workplace. Brian has led workshops and training sessions for organizations including, AT&T, Merck, Citigroup, Bank of America, Hewlett-Packard, DuPont, the NSA, and many other corporations, government agencies, and hundreds of colleges and universities.

A SunShower Learning Title


  • DVD (with Spanish and French-Canadian subtitles) of the Main Program plus Extra Features: FAQs, Tom's Story, Guided Imagery, Interview with Brian McNaught
  • CD-ROM with Leader's Guide, reproducible Participant Guide, reproducible Handouts and Quiz, Transcripts, PowerPoint Presentation


Praise for Anyone Can Be An Ally and Brian McNaught's work:

"This is a very thoughtful, balanced resource that merits much attention… an important film on an issue so few of us understand how to address in the work environment. It is one thing to have a skill set in referencing and working with race or religion. It is quite another challenge to talk about gender and sexual orientation. My professional motivation in commending Brian McNaught’s film is that I recognize, despite my personal commitment, I know that I have a lot to learn about how to be a skillful and effective ally. This film would be helpful to any one who wants to help create a work environment where every employee can flourish because they do not have to expend the energy trying to maintain a firewall between their family/personal lives and their professional lives. These are things that those of us who are heterosexual simply do not have to worry about."
- Eileen McDargh
- Author, Gifts From the Mountain - Simple Truths for Life's Complexities

"Many of us aspire to be concise and convincing allies for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender family, friends and colleagues, but struggle with how to be effective in doing this the 'right way.' In this short 14-minute video, Brian McNaught offers what we need to know, say and do as allies - in a way that is compelling, informative and actionable. If you are looking for guidance about language choices, when to speak up, and how to foster inclusion as an authentic LGBT ally, this video (and a little courage and practice) is all you need to have the confidence and capability to make a difference."
- Deb Dagit
- Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion for a Fortune 100 company

"There is no better mentor, trusted voice or clearer thinker to educate straight allies and their LGBT co-workers and colleagues than Brian McNaught. This video gives power and purpose to everyone who believes as he does that an open, honest, and accepting workplace is an imperative for every employer."
- Bob Witeck
- Founder and CEO
- Witeck-Combs

"Our hope for a world where we can live fully and equally relies on the courage of our allies - our family, friends and co-workers - and on the wisdom of heroes like Brian McNaught. In 'Anyone Can Be An Ally', Brian brings his clear, engaging expertise to create a resource that everyone who seeks justice for, and understanding within, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community will appreciate. It is an invaluable tool for cultural change, as Brian is a priceless voice for dignity and respect."
- J Kevin Jones
- Jr. Deputy Director
- Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

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