This article was published on March 16th, 2023
As Pride season approaches, it’s essential to understand that being an ally is more than just waving a rainbow flag or attending a parade. While these actions can be a great start, true allyship requires ongoing commitment and action. Being an ally is much more than saying you’re “okay with the gays.” It’s about providing support, advocating for the community, and using your voice when you have to. Wondering what you can do to show your allyship? Here are seven authentic ways to be a true ally this Pride season:
1. Educate yourself
One of the most important steps you can take is to educate yourself. Take the time to learn about the LGBTQ+ community and the challenges they face. Listen to their stories, read books and articles, watch documentaries and films, and attend workshops and events. Don’t rely on the community to educate you; take responsibility for your own learning. Not everyone is willing to take on the emotional labor of educating others.
2. Use your voice
As an ally, you have a voice, and it’s essential to use it to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Speak up when you hear homophobic or transphobic language or witness discrimination. Stand up for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community and amplify their voices. Use your social media platforms to share information and raise awareness. Just be sure that you’re not speaking over anyone in the process. Always try to amplify the voices of others when you can. However, there are plenty of ignorant people who won’t hear it from someone who is actually LGBTQ+ and might only listen at first to another straight or cisgendered person.
3. Attend LGBTQ+ events
Pride events and parades are a great way to show your support for the LGBTQ+ community. Attend these events, but make sure you are not just there to party or have a good time. Be respectful, listen, and learn. Use this opportunity to connect with the community and show your support.
4. Donate to LGBTQ+ organizations
Many organizations rely on donations to fund their programs and services. As an ally, consider making a financial contribution to an LGBTQ+ organization that aligns with your values. This can help ensure that the community has the resources they need to support their needs. Another way to donate is through mutual aid/crowdfunding. There are a lot of gofundme’s out there for families in need who need assistance with rent, food, getting their cars fixed, or sometimes need to immediately leave a possibly abusive living situation. A little can go a long way!
5. Advocate for LGBTQ+ rights
There are still many places in the world where LGBTQ+ people face discrimination and lack basic human rights. As an ally, you can use your voice and your vote to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. You can support political candidates who support LGBTQ+ rights, sign petitions, and participate in protests and rallies.
6. Support LGBTQ+ businesses
Supporting LGBTQ+ businesses are another way to show your support for the community. Look for LGBTQ+-owned or operated businesses in your area and consider buying from them when you can! This can help promote inclusivity and diversity in your community.
7. Listen and learn from the LGBTQ+ community
Finally, one of the most important ways to be a true ally is to listen and learn from the LGBTQ+ community. Take the time to listen to their stories, understand their experiences, and learn about the challenges they face. Avoid making assumptions or speaking on their behalf. Instead, use your privilege and platform to amplify their voices and support their needs.
Being a true ally requires ongoing commitment and action. Take the time to educate yourself, use your voice to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights, attend events, donate to organizations, support LGBTQ+ businesses, and most importantly, listen to the community. By doing so, you can help promote inclusivity and acceptance for all individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.