1. Educate and empower yourself
Doing some research, reading up online and learning a little more about the LGBTQ* community is a great place to start. Even if you’re part of the community, find out about people whose orientation or gender identity differs to your own. Confront your own assumptions, prejudices, and biases. Google, YouTube and the LGBTQ* media are your friends! Getting the language right can sometimes feel intimidating, so why not start with our glossary of terms?
As allies to each other, we have to be able to listen, ask how someone is doing and be aware that other people’s lives and experiences will be completely different to our own, especially in terms of discrimination and prejudice. Remember that just because someone has come out to you, they might not be out to everyone. Be respectful of each other and enjoy learning about all the differences and diversity in the communities around us.
3. Be visible and challenge
Be loud, visible and proud to be part of this campaign. We want as many positive messages out there as possible. When you hear people making negative comments or using hurtful or abusive language towards LGBTQ* people, challenge it, if safe to do so. If it’s online, report it. You might not always have all the answers or know exactly what to say and that’s OK. Here are some tips to think about:
– Keep calm and explain why bullying is wrong
– Try saying something like, ‘Stop, this is wrong’ and explain why
– Make sure you stay safe and don’t put yourself in danger
– Check the person being bullied is OK
– Encourage them to report it
4. Influence others
Think about the opportunities you have to share the message of equality and inclusivity of LGBTQ* persons. Whether it’s a conversation with friends, family or colleagues, use your platforms to amplify the voices of LGBTQ* communities and share other people’s stories.
5. Being an ally goes beyond just LGBTQ*
It’s important to remember that people have lots of different elements to their identities – Race, Ethnicity, religion, caste and disabilities. This may mean they suffer multiple levels of discrimination in their life. Being an ally is about listening to and learning from someone else’s experiences and showing your support for them.