5 Actionable Ways To Be An LGBT+ Ally

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5 Actionable Ways To Be An LGBT+ Ally
Self

Being a better ally starts with you.

Pride month is almost over, but that doesn’t mean being an LGBT+ ally has to end.

Pride also isn’t just a time for those in the LGBT+ community to be proud of who they are and acknowledge those who came before them. It also is for those outside the community to amplify LGBT+ voices and take the time to do their research.

It’s one thing to say you're an ally, but it takes more to actually be a good, supportive ally. 

RELATED: How To Be A Good LGBTQIA+ Ally During Pride Month — And Year-Round

There are basic ways to be an ally, such as knowing all the correct terms used in the LGBT+ community and not using any homophobic statements. But it’s not all that one can do — those are just simple gestures that everyone should do already.

Just listening to LGBT+ artists and being fans of LGBT+ actors/actresses isn’t being an ally, it’s just expanding your taste in media. Not that one shouldn’t do these things, but being an ally means amplifying LGBT+ voices and knowing important events that have shaped the LGBT+ community today.

It also means giving your friends and people you know who are part of the community a safe space where they don’t have to worry for their safety and can be themselves. If wondering where to start or how to improve in some areas, here are some tips to help out. 

1. Understand the history of Pride and the LGBT+ community

Take time to research major events that helped to shape LGBT+ history, such as what really happened at Stonewall and who lead the riot, when the first pride parade happened, when different openly gay government officials were elected into office and when different laws/bills became active in favor of LGBT+ individuals.

By doing so, this will help you to better understand where those in the community are coming from and where their worries lie when it comes to how they will be able to move forward without fear.

Here are some websites that break down the timeline and explain each event:

2. Donate to LGBT+ organizations

Before scrolling through Amazon or Wish to find unusual things to spend your extra cash on, consider putting that money towards something good. It doesn’t have to be a huge amount of money, it can even be a couple of dollars.

And once you donate, make sure to share with your friends who also want to be a good ally. The more people donating any change will total to a big amount in the end.

Here are some organizations that help those in the LGBT+ community: 

RELATED: 5 Things Straight People At Pride Need To Know About Being A Good LGBTQIA Ally

3. Follow LGBT+ activists on social media

LGBT+ activists not only share their stories but also share information about events, petitions to sign, and other informative information about issues the LGBT+ community face. Some of these accounts include celebrities who use their platform and status to give the spotlight to these issues that would have otherwise been easily swept under the rug.

You can also use your platform and share posts these accounts uploads and spread awareness within your social circle and encourage others to share as well. 

Some popular LGBT+ activists include:

  • Chella Man: a deaf, Transgender Jewish man who advocates for representation in media
  • Alok Vaid-Menon: a gender non-conforming writer and media personality
  • Alphonso David: president of the Human Rights Campaign and an LGBTQ civil rights lawyer
  • Laverne Cox: Transgender actress who advocates for representation in media
  • Jonathan Van Ness: television personality who shares his past in order to inspire LGBT+ youth 
  • Lena Waithe: a screenwriter, producer, and actress who advocates for LGBT+ representation in media 

4. Don’t out someone without their permission 

Coming out can be stressful for someone who is part of the LGBT+, as it's truly a life-changing experience — and not always in a good way.

If someone you know comes out to you, let them know that they are safe. Be considerate if they ask you not to tell others and use their preferred pronouns. Don’t try and guess someone’s identity and don’t out them if they haven’t told everyone yet. It’s not your place as a straight person to announce someone else’s information, as you could put them in danger.

5. Share LGBT+ voices without speaking over them

Even after doing research and knowing all about the community, that doesn’t give you the right to speak over those who have experienced all that you researched.

For example, if someone who is bisexual is talking about how they have experienced biphobia in their personal life, that doesn’t mean you can interrupt them with statistics. Instead, let them speak and be supportive. Nobody likes a know-it-all, especially someone who hasn’t experienced things themselves.

Following these ways to be a good LGBT+ ally will help you understand where your position is as a straight person and to help those around you also learn. It doesn’t stop here, these are just some starter points to help your journey on being a good ally.

It’s not easy to do, but in the end, it will be worth it for you and others who are wanting to change their ways. Keep being informed and doing your part to support the LGBT+ community, not just during Pride month but for a long time. 

RELATED: Your Essential Guide To The LGBTQIA+ Acronym — So You Can Use Each Term Respectfully

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Isabell Tenorio is a YourTango editorial intern.

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