An ally is a heterosexual and/or cisgender person who supports and advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community. They support equal rights for all and are aware of the issues which affect the community. By becoming an ally, you can help LGBTQIA+ people to feel safe and to work towards a more fair and equal world for them. Here are some ways you can become an ally:
Understand the issues that affect the LGBTQIA+ community
Put in the time and effort to educate yourself on the issues that affect the LGBTQIA+ community. Read through articles, books, watch documentaries and movies and make sure you're using inclusive language when talking to people. Being more informed will help you to better understand and advocate for the issues that are important to the LGBTQIA+ community.
Speak out against discrimination
Speak out against any homophobia, transphobia and harassment of the LGBTQIA+ community. By bringing up and calling out any discriminatory comments, people are forced to think about their own prejudices. While it takes a lot for people's attitudes to change, by constantly calling out these harmful comments, the people saying them may realise how detrimental they can be.
Support queer-owned businesses and organisations
Buy from businesses and non-profits who are owned by LGBTQIA+ people and businesses that are active in providing support for the LGBTQIA+ community. In a capitalist world, money speaks! When we use our collective buying power to support social justice causes, a strong message is sent to the power brokers of our world.
Listen to LGBTQIA+ voices
Create a safe and comfortable space for LGBTQIA+ people to share their stories with you. Make sure you listen to actually hear what's on their mind and not just listen to respond. Every person has their own individual story and their voices deserve to be heard and affirmed.
Use people's pronouns correctly
Using the correct pronouns that people identify with shows respect and encourages equality. You can't judge a person by how they look and if you're unsure what their pronouns are, ask them. If you make a mistake and use an incorrect pronoun, apologise and use the right one.
Volunteer for LGBTQIA+ groups
Get involved with LGBTQIA+ groups, campaigns and events that advocate for the rights and equality of the community. You can also contact your local government representative about LGBTQIA+ rights to see what they're doing in your local area.
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Information sourced from Vic.gov, ReachOut and Human Rights Campaign
Image credit: Anastasiia Chepinska on Unsplash
All content is created and published for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. Always seek the guidance of a qualified health professional.