Check out these 5 easy steps for how to be a better ally to LGBTQ+ people, provided by the Human Rights Campaign!
- Be honest: It’s important to be honest with yourself — acknowledging your feelings and coming to terms with them. And it means being honest with the person who came out in your life — acknowledging you aren’t an expert, asking them what’s important to them, seeking resources to better understand the realities of being an LGBTQ+ individual so that you can be truly informed and supportive.
- Send gentle signals: Showing and sharing your acceptance and support can be very easy. Many people often don’t realize that LGBTQ+ people keep watch for signs from their friends, family and acquaintances about whether it is safe to be open with them. It can be as subtle as having an LGBTQ+-themed book on your coffee table.
- Have courage: Just as it takes courage for LGBTQ+ people to be open and honest about who they are, it also takes courage to support your LGBTQ+ friends or loved ones. We live in a society where prejudice still exists and where discrimination is still far too common. Recognizing these facts and giving your support to that person will take your relationship to a higher level and is a small step toward a better and more accepting world.
- Be reassuring: Explain to a someone who came out to you that their sexual orientation or gender identity has not changed how you feel about them, but it might take a little while for you to digest what they have told you. You still care for and respect them as much as you ever have or more. And that you want to do right by them and that you welcome them telling you if anything you say or do is upsetting.
- Let your support inform your decisions: It’s about working to develop a true understanding of what it means to be LGBTQ+ in America and trying to do your part to help break down the walls of prejudice and discrimination that still exist — for example, by supporting businesses with appropriate anti-discrimination policies, saying you don’t appreciate “humor” that demeans LGBTQ+ people when it happens or learning about where political candidates stand on issues that have an impact on the LGBT community.