How To Be An LGBTQ Ally

Ally is Not an Identity 

Being an ally is more than standing up for a community even when they’re not around.

Things to Do be-an-ally-stopimgred

  • 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.

Educate Yourself  

  • 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.

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