Who is Made of ONYX
Made of ONYX is a team of bridge builders–comprised of Allie Oakes and friends. Allie has spent years becoming deeply connected to a diverse variety of LGBT+friends of all ages who help her understand their stories, and when requested, she helps them understand hers as a parent of a gay son. Many make up the core team of “consultants” with whom she works to create informative and reconciliatory events and products. These resources aim to benefit relationships between parents and their LGBT+ kids, as well as schools and churches seeking to create safe, healthy, and shame-free spaces. Allie openly shares how her experience of seeing the LGBT+ community through the eyes of a mom brought about a personal desire to sincerely validate, respect, and love individuals from all walks of life. She can communicate, as an ally, what she has generally learned in an effort to promote new thinking among those who seek to increase their inclusion of all people. She doesn’t see herself as a mouthpiece for the LGBT+ community, but simply as one of many on a devoted team of bridge builders.
Meaning Behind Made of ONYX
There are currently several plans to better the lives of those who want to walk alongside, and celebrate, the LGBT+ community. For this reason, a company and a website has been formed through which Allie continues carrying out these plans. When it came time to choose a name, Allie wanted one that represented her desire to support her friends who are LGBT+ through encouraging their Key Influencers to remain connected to them. She also wanted the name to represent the traits she saw so clearly in her LGBT+ friends: Strength. Courage. Stamina. Protection. Love. In considering names that sounded strong, Allie remembered meeting someone named Onyx. That led her to research uses for onyx to see if it truly represented those traits–and it did!
Historically, some have believed onyx would bring protection in battle while others believed it would bring about courage and safety. For instance, one article at Jewels For Me, Inc. said, “It can help you be the master of your destiny and strengthen your confidence. It provides support in difficult times and centers your energy in times of mental or physical stress.”
Receiving the needed confirmation, Made of ONYX was born and is here to help strengthen and support the increase those traits in anyone.
Made of ONYX Mission
To better the lives of LGBT+ people, and those who love them, by activating understanding and supportive connections at home, school, and church.
Who is the Target Audience for Made of ONYX?
Key Influencers – Families, Schools, and Churches
- Family members, educators, and church members/leadership who want to better the lives of LGBT+ youth among them. Consider Made of ONYX to be a coach for authentic connection to the LGBT+ people you care about.
Young people who identify as LGBT+
LGBT+ who are seeking information and resources for support and connection to the LGBT community. Consider Made of ONYX your “Gay Concierge.”
What can Made of ONYX offer Key Influencers?
A. Parents of LGBT+
- Help them identify why their relationship may be stuck and how that disconnect is impacting all parties involved
- Give them a practical understanding how to become ‘unstuck’
- Activate relational momentum–even if disagreement exists
- Discuss outcomes that often occur when understanding and acceptance are withheld
- Connect them to resources for consistent support and specialized education
- Increase awareness surrounding advocacy and ally opportunities
- Access to HIV prevention and education
- Group support for LGBT+ students from Allie, thriving and relatable LGBT+ role models, and allies who can articulate areas of beneficial expertise (i.e., resources from LGBT centers, HIV survivors, counselors specializing in LGBT issues, POC LGBT+, motivators, etc.)
- Work with individuals, or pairs, to identify triggers on campus, then follow up with a plan of support to help them feel safe
- Help all of today’s students embrace their likely role as future parents.Further creating a mindset among them that will foster a society in which LGBT+ (and others) are brought out of the margins–lowering future rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide among LGBT+ youth
- Educate teachers and students about the experience of many LGBT+ students, creating an awareness of how they wish to be treated and what they think would positively impact their education settings
- Availability to parents of LGBT+ students for relatable support from the mom of a gay son who was once unsupportive and has come full circle
- Access to HIV prevention education
- Education for anyone in churches from Allie and a small panel of LGBT+ individuals willing to carefully communicate
- Education about what the families of an LGBT+ persons experience at church as a result of the exclusion they all receive
- Formulate a plan to take steps away from shame and towards inclusion, understanding that if this doesn’t happen the LGBT+ community will continue to be notoriously suicidal because of their marginalization.