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Runner stories

Strengthen your LGBTQ+ allyship in your running community

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Pride is all about championing and supporting the LGBTQ+ community, but it's up to allies to step up and put in the work. Here’s how.

Senior runner experience specialist Natalie Weiss (she/her) and packing team lead Malissa Little (she/them) are co-chairs of BRAVE (Brooks Rainbow Alliance, Vocation & Education) – a Brooks employee resource group for LGBTQ+ people and allies. The group provides resources and experiences for members that build community, advance careers, and support an inclusive culture at Brooks.

Members of the Seattle chapter of FrontRunners show their Pride on the run.

Members of the Seattle chapter of FrontRunners show their Pride on the run.

For Natalie, an ally is someone who not only accepts those in the LGBTQ+ community, but also appreciates the diversity of the community, recognizes the struggles members have gone through and continue to face, and actively advocates for LGBTQ+ rights.

"To me, one of the best things a person can do is ask the LGBTQ+ individuals in their lives how to be a better ally.

The LGBTQ+ community is diverse, and we have different backgrounds and stories. What being an ally means to one person in my community might be quite different than what being an ally means to me. To me, being a great ally for me and my community is a blend of both the personal and public, but I recognize others in my community will have other definitions of what a great ally is to them.”

Malissa considers an ally a friend. “An ally is someone who wants to support despite not actually feeling the struggle. They ask about where, when, and how is the best way to help. And they show up even if they don’t exactly know what you need. An ally can also be a voice that is heard where our voices cannot travel,” she said.

Remember, you don’t need to identify as a member of a community to be an ally of that community. You can become a stronger ally by listening, supporting, and advocating for safe spaces and protective policies for LGBTQ+ people.

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Ways to strengthen your LGBTQ+ allyship in your running community

Run with a LGBTQ+ run club or work with your run club to fundraise for a local LGBTQ+ community organization.  

Champion others not to assume pronouns and that it’s okay to ask someone their preferred pronouns.  

Advocate for a non-binary race category at local running events. Check out Running USA’s LGBTQ+ inclusion resource for more info. 

Create safe spaces for anyone, especially youth, no matter where they are in their running or identity journey. Brooks is putting allyship into action by providing scholarships to Camp Brave Trails, helping LGBTQ+ youth travel from near and far to a leadership camp where they can find their people, their place, and their passions. Be an ally and join us by sharing your run, your march, or your Run Proud gear with #PrideForMiles.

Support queer creators who bring the world queer art via apparel, shoes, workout gear.

Wednesday Holmes
Run Proud Ghost 15
Run Proud tank

The 2023 Run Proud Collection

Artist and activist Wednesday Holmes is bringing their inclusive, inviting, and inherently joyful designs to our limited edition Run Proud Collection. With this collaboration, we’re empowering all members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies to show their true colors. Follow Wednesday on Instagram and see more of their work at hellomynameiswednesday.com.

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Run Proud Collection

LGBTQ+ support resources

For support, community, and resources, check out The Trevor Project, an international organization dedicated to end suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning young people. 

For assistance, call the hotline: (US +1) 866-488-7386; use TrevorText: text “START” to 678678 seven days a week from 6am to 1am EST; or visit trevorspace.org, an online international peer-to-peer community for LGBTQ young people and their friends. 

Learn more

At Brooks, we believe everyone who wants to run is welcome to run, and everyone who runs has a place to do it. Our purpose is to inspire everyone to run their path. We champion the run for all and believe in the power of a diverse running community that includes people of different races/ethnicities, national origins, abilities, genders, ages, sexual orientation, body types, and circumstances.

For more about how Brooks champions the run for all, check out Running Responsibly: Our People Strategy.