As an ally, you have the power to make a difference by advocating for equality and fostering an inclusive environment. In this month-long celebration, it’s important to not only educate ourselves about the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQIA+ community but also to actively participate in the fight for equal rights. This means embracing diversity, challenging discrimination, and standing up against homophobia and transphobia. Whether it’s attending pride parades, donating to LGBTQ+ organizations, or simply engaging in conversations that promote understanding and acceptance, there are countless ways to show support as an ally.
If you want to become a better ally, here are five ways you can show your support for the LGBTQIA+ community beyond the month of June.
1. Learn to unlearn (and be corrected)
If someone corrects you when discussing LGBTQIA+ issues, or tries to explain their contrasting point of view, keep open-minded and be willing to see things from their perspective. We are all guilty of bias to some extent, and unlearning these biases is vital to being better allies!
2. Educate, educate, educate
It can be difficult to know where to start when looking to become a better ally, as there is lots of information out there. If you’re feeling this way, Buffers’ comprehensive resource list is a great place to start:
3. Shop at LGBTQ+ businesses
Show your support for LGBTQ+ communities by buying from companies who don’t just change their logo for the month of June, but actively support the queer community. Research companies’ hiring processes to see if they’re being inclusive and find out if they donate to LGBTQ+ charities. If they aren’t advocating for queer rights or actively go against promoting equality, do you really want to buy their products?
4. Encourage change in the workplace
Try not to assume that everyone in your office is straight, as this simply isn’t true. Beyond Pride Month, ask your company if you can hold regular LGBTQ+ webinars throughout the year; discussing allyship, diversity and inclusivity, to create a safe space for everyone at work. The LGBT Foundation is a great place to start.
5. Use preferred pronouns
If you feel comfortable, you could share your pronouns with new acquaintances. By doing so, you are showing LGBTQ+ people that you won’t assume their gender, and will hopefully make others feel like they can be themselves around you.
Using pronouns also means that those who may feel as though they have to explain their identity don’t have to. An action that you can take today is to simply add your pronouns to your social media accounts and email signatures – it takes seconds but shows others that they can be themselves in your company.
Whilst the month of Pride may be June, remember that doing the work and implementing change doesn’t end as we move into July and the rest of the year. Let’s all continue to do better, and help everyone feel comfortable being who they truly are.