What Can I Do?

Ideas for Allies

  • Do not assume that everyone you meet is heterosexual/cisgender.
     
  • Refuse to tolerate anti-LGBTQ comments, attitudes, remarks, or jokes.
     
  • If you want to know something about a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, go to that person directly and ask in an appropriate manner and setting.
     
  • Refuse to propagate rumors.
     
  • Report all harassment or discriminatory behavior to the appropriate officials.
     
  • Respect confidentiality at all times. It is imperative that you can be trusted.
     
  • Display positive materials in support of the LGBTQ community (flyers for activities, posters, cards, Safe Zone Placard, etc.)
     
  • Use inclusive, non-gender specific language that does not assume the heterosexuality of others.
     
  • Educate yourself on issues and concerns of the LGBTQ community and take the initiative to obtain accurate information.
     
  • Keep everything in balance. Don’t assume that being LGBTQ doesn’t matter or that it is the only thing that does matter. While it is true that being LGBTQ a large part of an individual’s identity, it may not be the most important to them. In other words, being LGBTQ may not be that important to them. On the other hand, remember that being LGBTQ is not being “the same as everyone else” and that there are significant differences between LGBTQ individuals and heterosexual/cisgender individuals.
     
  • Know your own biases and fears. Know what you are comfortable talking about and be comfortable enough to refer individuals to others when necessary. In addition know your limits. Know when it is necessary to refer an individual to an “expert” who can assist them better.
     
  • Remember that just because an individual is LGBTQ does not mean that is their sole identity or issue. In other words, “not everything is about being gay.” There will be times when an individual is dealing with other areas of their identity: their socio-economic status, their religion/faith, their race, or their ethnicity. It is important to be culturally competent across the board to better serve this community.