According to most statistics, LGBT community continues to face discrimination in their life, including their dating life. This forces them to hide their authentic self. And makes it difficult for them to lead a happy life without facing stress and anxiety.
Despite all the progress towards LGBT rights, it’s important that you are still being an ally. Being an ally means educating yourself on LGBT issues. Making sure you’re there for your friends. And always, always speaking up against discrimination.
If you’re an LGBT ally who wants to help your friends feel protected, read this article. In this article, we’re talking about 6 Things You Should Know As An Ally. Let’s begin!
Always Lend Your Ear, And An Open Mind
As an LGBT ally, it is extremely important that you always listen with an open mind. If you actually support your LGBT peers, you won’t feel the need to change them. Instead, develop your own understanding. Always lend your ear to your LGBT peers. Make sure that they never feel dismissed. Being an ally is all about keeping your differences aside. And making space for others to speak up.
As an LGBT ally, you should always have empathy for your peers. Listen to the other perspective without making judgments. Even if you do find yourself having differences – sort them out yourself. This can help you build an understanding with your LGBT friends. It will also ensure that they always trust you. And they will feel safe in sharing their lives with you.
Don’t Have Discrimination Towards Their Narrative
Being an ally is all about casting away your own differences. And making space for other people’s narratives. See, every person’s story is different. And without listening to the other person’s narrative, you will never really be able to develop a healthy friendship. It’s also important to note that LGBTQI people already face many stereotypes. This affects all parts of their life, including dating. If you end up believing those stereotypes, instead of listening to the narrative, you’re being a bad ally.
It’s not just important to believe the other person’s narrative. It’s also important to affirm the other person. Let them know you believe them. Let them know you are there for them. This will help you fully understand the other person’s journey. You will have a better understanding of their identity. So, as you continue to listen, make sure you’re being a good ally. Don’t question, don’t validate. Just lend your ear without discrimination!
Always Use Preferred Pronouns
It’s very important that you learn to use the right pronouns. When it comes to transgender or non-binary people, it’s possible that they have their own preferred pronouns. You must make sure to use those pronouns. Even if you’ve used a different pronoun for them before – change it according to their wish. This can be a little tough. Especially if you have known the said person for quite some time. So, if you slip up and use the wrong pronoun – don’t make a big deal out of it! Just give a sincere apology, and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Don’t make this about yourself. And don’t make the apology too elaborate. You shouldn’t embarrass the other person by apologizing too much!
All of this also applies to the other terms that your loved ones use. Make sure to adopt the language they use to describe their identity. If your son, or your brother, brings their boyfriend to you – it means that you should also call this person their boyfriend. Unless they ask otherwise! These little steps let your loved ones know that you care for them. And that you acknowledge their identity.
Being An Advocate
Being an advocate for the LGBT community means that you should always speak up for them. If they’re ever in a situation where they are being discriminated against, it is your duty to speak up. It’s not just about speaking up. It’s also about attending LGBT rallies. Being in touch with organizations. And speaking up for law and policy changes. If you feel any form of prejudice, you must speak up!
When you hear others talk negatively about the LGBTQ community. Or if someone uses stereotypes against the person. Or someone uses the wrong pronouns to hurt the other person. All of these are places for you to be an advocate. Talk to the person. And let them know you don’t support their discrimination! Also, attend organizations and pride parades Post pro-LGBTQ content on your social media. And use your position to help the LGBT community.
Provide Them With Your Guidance
If you know that your LGBT peer is struggling or needs help, it’s your duty to step in. This can be in their personal, professional, or dating life. Provide them with any help or resources you can manage. If you can’t help directly, just offer your guidance. Point them in the right direction. Hook them up with mental health resources, helplines, or support networks. You don’t have to do everything on your own. And that’s why you can just link them with the right people. And make sure they know you’re there for them!
Educate Other People In Your Life
Educating others isn’t always comfortable. It means having a discussion with people in your life who are ignorant. It means talking to your friend, or your mother, or your father. And letting them know that homophobia is not acceptable. But as an LGBTQ ally – it is important that you educate the people in your life. If you’re not even doing that much effort, you’re leaving your LGBT peers alone. Now, you don’t have to cut off with all your homophobic friends. But make sure that you call them out. Every time they say something homophobic around you, they should know they did something wrong. Hopefully, that will change their mindset in the end. And they will end up being kinder to LGBT people around them!
If you’re trying to be a good LGBT ally, your friends will highly appreciate your efforts. Continue educating yourself. And continue letting your friends know you support them. We’re wishing everyone a Happy Pride!