This article was published on February 29th, 2020
When we think of our LGBT allies, one often refers do their straight friends, family, and neighbors who support us no matter what. But you should look no further than in the mirror when it comes to who should be the greatest queer advocate. Make the world a better place by becoming the best LGBT ally out there. Here are 8 real things you can do right now to stand up and be an active member of the community.
1. Stop putting anyone in the community down. Empathy goes a long way, and setting the example for your friends by being a kind person to all people is definitely the best way to go. Check yourself and check your friends from making derogatory statements about another human being.
2. Start standing up for members of the community in family settings and situations where being the vocal proponent isn’t the popular decision to make. Don’t let the opportunity to speak up and say the right thing pass you by.
3. Share positive, inspiring and educational queer-centric content on social media. It’s better to highlight the contributions LGBT people make than for focus on the negatives. Sharing uplifting content is a nice break compared to the 24-hour negative news constantly running rampant through our threads.
4. Attend Pride in your city / community and events that benefit the queer community. Really becoming a member of LGBT society involved putting yourself out there at public gatherings where gay people gather. Art festivals, book readings and launches, and most creative events will be great places to further connect with other non-binary folks.
5. Volunteer for your local LGBT organizations like LGBT centers, queer senior citizens groups, and queer youth projects. You can really make a difference in your community by giving back and helping either those less fortunate.
6. Research your elected officials long before Election Day to find the most lgbt-friendly candidates. Then support these candidates by showing up to vote, voting, and making appearances at local town halls and by signing petitions supporting queer-positive legislation.
7. Put your money where your mouth is and donate your time and money to these candidates, too.
8. Learn your history. Gay rights and the fight for equality started long before the Stonewall Riots. You owe it to yourself and your queer brethren to research and learn about the LGBT members of our community that came before us. In some cases, thousands of years ago. It’s fascinating to realize that queer people have been making their marks on society and culture for as long as mankind has been around.
What are some suggestions we can direct our hetero friends and loved ones to do, other than joining PFLAG and attending pride with us? Comment below with some tips!