Being an ally

LGBTQ+ people don’t always feel welcomed and accepted due to discrimination and violence. For LGBTQ+ young people, having allies who are supportive of them dramatically helps their mental and physical health. Being an ally means that you are committed to learning and taking action to make sure that LGBTQ+ people feel supported and safe.

 

Here are some ways to be an ally

 

  • Remember being an ally is not something you do, it’s who you are!

  • It is never ok to "out" or share someone else's sexual orientation or gender identity is. Doing that can be really unsafe for that person.

  • Share your pronouns (how someone can refer to you other than your name, like “his”  “she” or “they”) and use the correct pronouns for other people.

  • Learn from and listen to LGBTQ+ people. And be proactive and learn on your own! Don’t expect them to explain everything to you.

  • Speak up when someone says or does something that is hurtful to LGBTQ+ people. Ignoring the concerns of LGBTQ+ people is damaging.

  • Use examples that include people from a wide range of sexual orientations and gender identities.

  • Be open to feedback! Part of being an ally is being open to advice about how to make people feel more welcome.

 

Gender identity and sexual orientation are personal parts of everyone’s lives. Empathizing with different kinds of folks is key to becoming wiser and more responsible residents of this world. And remember, respect is always the first step :)