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Be an ally to the community

As society progresses towards greater acceptance and equality for the LGBTQIA+ community, it is important for allies to play an active role in supporting and advocating for their rights.

These are just a few ways that you can be an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community. Remember, it’s important to be respectful and open to learning, and to show support and solidarity when it matters most.

Educate yourself: Take the time to learn about the different identities and experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community. There are plenty of resources available, such as books, articles, and online courses, that can help you better understand the challenges and triumphs of being a part of this community.

Use inclusive language: Use the correct pronouns and terms when referring to someone who is LGBTQIA+. If you’re not sure which pronouns someone uses, it’s okay to ask. It’s important to respect someone’s identity and to be mindful of the language you use.

Speak up: If you witness or hear about someone being discriminated against or mistreated because of their LGBTQIA+ identity, stand up for them. This could be as simple as calling out a harmful comment or reporting bullying to a supervisor.

Support LGBTQIA+-inclusive policies: Advocate for policies and practices in your workplace, school, or community that support and protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ individuals.

Get involved: Consider volunteering with organizations that support the LGBTQIA+ community, such as LGBTQIA+ centers or advocacy groups. There are also many events and festivals that celebrate LGBTQIA+ pride, such as Pride parades, which are great opportunities to show your support.

Be a good listener: If someone in the LGBTQIA+ community wants to talk to you about their experiences or struggles, listen without judgment and offer your support. It can be tough for LGBTQIA+ individuals to open up about their identity, so be there for them and let them know that you are a safe and supportive person.

Be respectful of people’s pronouns. If you’re not sure what pronouns someone uses, ask! It’s always better to ask than to assume, and it shows that you respect people’s identities. If someone tells you their pronouns, use them! It’s a small but powerful way to show your support.

Stand up against discrimination. If you see or hear someone being discriminated against because of their LGBTQIA+ status, speak up! It can be difficult to know what to do in these situations, but even something small like asking if the person is ok or offering them your support can make a big difference.

Be an advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights. Learn about the issues facing the LGBTQIA+ community and use your voice to speak out in support. You can do this by educating yourself, signing petitions, attending events, or even just having conversations with people about LGBTQIA+ issues.

Be open and accepting. Creating a safe and accepting environment for LGBTQIA+ people starts with you. Be open and accepting of people’s identities, and make it clear that everyone is welcome in your space.

Be open to learning. If you are unsure about something related to gender or sexuality, don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s important to remember that no one person can speak for an entire community, and everyone’s experiences and knowledge may be different. Try to listen and be open to learning from the people who are directly impacted.

Remember to respect boundaries. Just because someone is LGBTQIA+ doesn’t mean they want to talk about their identity all the time. If someone is not comfortable answering a question or talking about something, respect that and don’t push them to disclose more than they are comfortable with.

Stand up against discrimination and hate. When you witness someone being discriminated against or mistreated because of their gender or sexual identity, it’s important to speak up and show your support. This could be as simple as saying something like “That’s not ok” or “Leave them alone”, or it could mean reporting the incident to someone in authority or contacting organisations that can provide support and resources.

Apologise if you make a mistake. If you do accidentally use the wrong pronouns or name, apologise and move on. Don’t make a big deal out of it or draw attention to the mistake – it’s not a big deal. Just apologise and move on, and remember to use the correct pronouns and name in the future.

Educate yourself. If you’re not familiar with the LGBTQIA+ community or issues, it’s important to educate yourself so you can be a better ally. There are plenty of resources available online and in books that can help you learn more. Remember that everyone’s experiences are different and it’s important to listen to and respect people’s individual experiences.

Support LGBTQIA+ events and organisations. There are plenty of events and organisations out there that support the LGBTQIA+ community. Whether it’s attending a Pride parade, donating to an LGBTQIA+ organisation, or supporting a local group, there are plenty of ways to show your support.

Stand up against discrimination. If you witness discrimination against someone in the LGBTQIA+ community, it’s important to speak up and take action. This could be something as simple as correcting someone who uses the wrong pronouns or name, or it could be something more serious like reporting hate speech or violence. Whatever it is, it’s important to stand up against discrimination whenever you see it.

Don’t ask “but what’s your real name”. This can be especially difficult if you’ve known someone for a long time under a different name, but it’s important to respect their decision to change their name and to use the correct name they have chosen for themselves. It’s also important to recognize that someone’s chosen name is their real name, regardless of whether or not it was the name they were given at birth.

Don’t assume that all LGBTQIA+ people are the same or that they all fit into certain stereotypes. Every person is unique and has their own experiences, thoughts, and feelings. Don’t make assumptions based on someone’s gender or sexual identity – ask questions and listen to what they have to say.

Remember that being an ally is an ongoing process – it’s not just a one time thing. Keep learning, stay open to feedback, and remember that the LGBTQIA+ community is diverse, so everyone will have different experiences and needs. By being a supportive and respectful ally, you can make a real difference to the lives of LGBTQIA+ people around you.

“I told them that their identity did not change the way I felt about them and that I would always support and be there for them.”

I was honoured that they felt comfortable enough to share such a personal and vulnerable aspect of their life with me.