Ally is Not an Identity
Being an ally is more than standing up for a community even when they’re not around.
- Acknowledge that “ally” is not an identity.
- Check your privilege at all times.
- Do not assume the sexual orientation or gender identity of another person.
- Speak out against offensive statements or actions you see or hear.
- Use gender non-specific language, like “partner” instead of “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.”
- Respect the coming out process, and understand that some information may be off limits.
- Know that your opinion takes a backseat to those with experience.
- Listen when someone opens up about their experience.
- Validate people’s sexual orientation and gender expression. If a person shares preferred pronouns with you, be intentional about using them, even when they aren’t in the room. If someone tells you about their same-sex partner, ask about their relationship like you would a straight friend’s.
- Educate yourself about LGBT histories, cultures, and concerns.
- Involve yourself/support LGBT organizations and causes.
- Understand that knowing marginalized people ≠ being inclusive
- Be honest about things you don’t understand—don’t try to fake it! Respectful questions are generally better than making assumptions about someone’s identity.
- A person’s gender identity is different than a person’s sexual orientation.
- When someone comes out, it does not mean they are sexually attracted to you.
- Do not ‘out’ a person as LGBTQ to others. Respect people’s privacy and recognize that it should be their decision when and with whom to share their LGBT identity.
- The transition experience is different for each trans person.
- Be aware of the vital role you can play as an ally.
- Remember the intricacies of oppression.