- Strategies for Being a Safe Zone Ally
- The most important strategy for an Ally is to listen without judgment and with compassion.
Don’t Make Assumptions
- Don’t assume that the sexual orientation or gender identity of a person is the most important aspect of that person, or the only topic they want to discuss. Remember that everyone is a multifaceted individual whose sexuality is only one aspect of their total life.
- Don’t assume that all unmarried people are single or have relationships or desire relationships with individuals of the “opposite” gender/sex.
- Don’t assume all mothers and fathers are heterosexuals or that children live in families consisting of a male-female couple.
Be Aware of Your Language
- Use inclusive terms such as “partner,” “significant other,” or “date” instead of “spouse,” “wife,” “husband,” “boyfriend,” or “girlfriend.”
- Use inclusive terms such as “committed relationship” instead of “marriage.”
- Use terms that are gender neutral and don’t assume the sex/gender of someone’s partner, such as “person,” “someone,” or “anyone.”
- Use preferred pronouns including gender neutral pronouns such as “zi/hir” or the singular “they.”
Be Aware of Your Own Bias
- Be an Ally 100% of the time, no deals, no strings attached.
- Recognize that it will take some time to bridge communication gaps and develop an understanding of the experiences of people with different sexual orientations and gender identities from your own.
- You don’t have to try and convince individuals that you are “on their side,” just be there for them.
- Confront jokes and slurs: silence may communicate that you condone the prejudicial behavior.