Pride month is celebrated every June to raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ community and to celebrate diversity, inclusion and allyship. However, LGBTQ+ allyship is something we should practice year-round. It’s important that parents, caregivers and professionals embrace allyship to help children, teens and other adults feel safe and supported. Being an ally means taking active steps to support and advocate for LGBTQ+ people. Here are some tips on how we can all be LGBTQ+ allies:
1. Educate Yourself
The first step in becoming an ally is to educate yourself about the LGBTQ+ community. Read books, articles and blogs by LGBTQ+ authors and activists to gain a better understanding of the issues they face. Attend LGBTQ+ events and talk to people in the community to learn more about their experiences.
2. Use Inclusive Language
Language is important. Using inclusive language means using words and phrases that are respectful of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. For example, instead of saying “he” or “she,” use the gender-neutral pronouns “they” or “them.”
3. Speak Up
If you hear someone making a homophobic or transphobic remark, speak up. Let them know that their words are hurtful and offensive. Use the opportunity to educate them about the harm their words can cause.
4. Support LGBTQ+ Organizations
There are many LGBTQ+ organizations that are working towards equal rights and visibility for the community. You can support these organizations by volunteering, donating money or attending events.
5. Stand Up Against Discrimination
If you witness discrimination against an LGBTQ+ person, take action. Report it to the appropriate authorities or speak out against it. Discrimination should not be tolerated in any form.
6. Be a Safe Space
Create a safe space for LGBTQ+ people. Make it clear that you are an ally and that they can talk to you about their experiences without fear of judgment or discrimination.
7. Practice Self-Awareness
It’s important to recognize your own biases and prejudices. Take the time to reflect on your own beliefs and attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community. Be open to learning and growing as an ally.
Becoming an LGBTQ+ ally is a journey. It takes time, effort and a willingness to listen and learn. But by taking these steps, you can help create a more inclusive and accepting world for all.