Being An LGBT+ Ally (Updated 2024)

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How to be a supportive ally to the LGBT+ community.

Identity (Updated 2024) 09th Jun, 2023

Are you ready to be an ally and support your LGBT+ community? Small adjustments to our thought and behavior patterns can have a significant positive effect. Being a supporter of the LGBT+ community is more necessary than ever in a society where acceptance and inclusiveness are essential.

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By making small changes in our mindset and behavior, we can have a significant positive impact on the lives of LGBT+ individuals. This guide will provide you with valuable insights on how to become a supportive ally, offering practical tips and advice for creating a more inclusive society.

Whether you’re starting your ally journey or looking to enhance your existing support, this guide is here to help.

Being an Ally:

Situation 1:

I’m with my teenage daughter visiting her new orthodontist. My daughter complains she doesn’t need braces, her teeth are fine.

‘You’ll want straight teeth. What about when you go to university to find your prince and get married?’ the orthodontist asks.

I feel my hackles rise. I grew up in the small town of Adelaide in eighties Australia. At university, I got together with my first serious boyfriend who I loved, planned to marry, have babies with and spend the rest of our happy lives together. Until he came out as gay. I was devastated. I didn’t blame my ex-boyfriend for his ill-fated effort to ‘be straight’. I blamed the homophobia that led to his wish to do so. From then on, I became what I now know to be an LGBT+ ally.

‘Or princess,’ I say.

‘I might want to go to university to get an education,’ my daughter says.

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Situation 2:

I’m at the football with my husband. (Yes, I did find love again. And my husband gets on heart-warmingly well with my gay ex-boyfriend and we all like my gay ex-boyfriend’s boyfriend.). The stadium is decorated with rainbow flags, badges, laces, boards, plinths and displays.

‘I love a good Rainbow Week,’ I say.

‘Why do we need a Rainbow Week anyway?’ says Ben, sitting in the row behind me. He’s a grandfather, a large man with a fondness for a pint of beer and a slow-cooked casserole.

‘We need it because people still feel the need to ask that question, that’s why,’ I say.

‘Oh, yeah, okay,’ he says.

‘Who do you think will win today?’ I ask.

3 women and LGBT Flag

Learn about Allyship:

Educate yourself about what it means to be an ally and the challenges faced by the LGBT+ community. Familiarize yourself with the terminology, experiences, and struggles they may encounter.

To obtain a thorough awareness of the LGBT+ community and its particular needs, look for trustworthy materials such as books, videos, articles, or educational websites.

Significance of Allyship:

Recognize the importance of allyship in promoting equality and creating a safe and inclusive environment for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity or sexuality.

Allies are vital in challenging discriminatory practices, beliefs, and policies. By supporting and amplifying the voices of LGBT+ individuals, allies contribute to dismantling harmful stereotypes and fostering acceptance.

Standing Up Against Discrimination:

As an ally, it is crucial to actively stand up against discrimination and prejudice directed towards the LGBT+ community. This involves challenging offensive language, stereotypes, and biased attitudes when encountered in your personal and professional circles.

Speak out against discriminatory actions and support legislation that safeguards the rights and welfare of LGBT+ people.

Promoting Equality:

Embrace the goal of promoting equality and fairness for all. Actively work towards dismantling systemic barriers and advocating for policies that foster inclusivity and non-discrimination in all aspects of society.

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Continual Learning and Growth:

Allyship is an ongoing journey of learning and growth. Stay informed about current issues, trends, and developments affecting the LGBT+ community. Engage in conversations and dialogue with members of the community to understand their unique perspectives and experiences. Be open to feedback, learn from your mistakes, and continuously strive to improve your allyship.

You may significantly contribute to the support and upliftment of the LGBT+ community by comprehending the role of an ally, learning about the experiences of the LGBT+ community, and actively striving to promote equality and inclusion.

Over to You:

Every one of us, every day, has the opportunity to be an LGBT+ champion. You don’t have to be blessed with a ‘difference’ yourself to make a difference to those who are.

Do you believe people deserve dignity and respect regardless of their gender identity and/or sexuality, let alone any other characteristics protected under the UK Equality Act 2010? Are you able to listen, learn and talk with an open mind?

Start your ally journey by confronting your own prejudice. We are all products of the imperfect societies in which we live. It may be uncomfortable to acknowledge, examine and change deeply held, long-standing assumptions and bias. Stick with it. Let your thoughts, language and behaviour reflect a more inclusive mindset.

Next, assume that some of your family, friends and colleagues are LGBT+. Support them in their coming out process. Let them be themselves without discrimination. Speak up or report anti-LGBT+ language, comments, ‘jokes’, media representations and behaviours.

Include them in your work, social and family life.

Communities are stronger when we celebrate and support diversity. Together we can make our world a more equal and welcoming place.

The Bottom Line

Understanding the role of an ally involves educating oneself about the experiences, challenges, and needs of the LGBT+ community.

It requires recognizing the significance of allyship in standing up against discrimination and promoting equality for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. You have the ability to have a good influence as an ally.

You help to create a safe and inviting workplace by actively questioning misconceptions, speaking out against discrimination, and supporting laws that protect the rights and well-being of LGBT+ people. Your support helps to dismantle systemic barriers and fosters a society where diversity is celebrated.

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