7 Effective ways to be an LGBT Ally
It is especially important in this day and age to speak up for inequality as one voice. For this to happen we must first empower ourselves to be brave in our interactions, conversations, and actions. This bravery becomes a stepping stone toward more inclusive and collaborative environments. Here are 7 effective ways to be an LGBT ally.
Be a listener
If you have a friend reaching out to you, make sure that you really listen and not just listen, but absorb what they are saying. Joining the conversation and listening to the experiences of the people you meet will undoubtedly broaden your understanding of what is means to be an ally and better your awareness of how to help to achieve equality for all.
Realize that not every person will have the same views as you but do your best to look at it from their perspective and see where they are coming from.
Be willing to advocate
Writing posts on Facebook is awesome and it’s a great way to gain awareness but go that extra mile! Attend a rally, sign a petition and get that law passed!
I attended my first event with the LGBT Life Center in November. I knew very little about the LGBT community, so I felt a l out of place until I started chatting with those around me. They were nice enough to answer the many questions I had.
If you don’t feel comfortable asking questions to someone in the LGBT community then do some research! I found this wonderful website http://www.lgbtsocialwork.com/lgbt-basics.html that provided definitions to terms I had no idea even existed.
Support your LGBT friends by including them in your social activities and treating same-gender couples the same as your heterosexual coupled friends.
Don’t be like the couple in the Dear Abby column who was publicly shamed for inviting everyone in their neighborhood to a party, except the gay couples.
Realize that anti-LGBT comments and jokes are harmful
“No embattled minority community should be standing alone today. The issues at stake are too fundamental for our country and our identity as a nation. Only by speaking with one voice can we protect each other.” – Adeel Mangi
Be an ally! Be the change!
About the author
AJennifer Roser is a senior majoring in communications at Old Dominion University. When she’s not working or going to class, you will find her outside walking her dog and cat, yes she said cat. She decided to become an ally because of her friends and family in the LGBT community and she believe that everyone deserves to be equal, happy, and respected.