We live in a world where there is a lot of crime and hatred. People are dying everywhere and the amount of hatred and intolerance just keeps increasing with time. This is especially true with minorities and the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole. So, it has become very essential to support and love each other as well as help each other grow, during these testing times. This is the spirit behind the celebration of Ally week.
Isn’t it time to do our bit and work on learning how to be an ally for the LGBTQIA+ community? Here are some tips to get you started on your journey to becoming an ally.
Before you jump to action in any social justice movement, you need to know about the movement in detail. This means learning the problem with the present, the history and of course, the steps taken in the right direction. Movies and TV series are also good places to start if reading isn’t your thing.
To best understand how to help the people of the LGBTQIA+ community feel at home in society, it’s time to stop talking and listen to what they are telling you. Listen to what they need and what they are asking for. Offer them your support when and if they need it, especially when they decide to vent about topics like discrimination.
One of the most essential things that we must do as allies is to amplify the voices of the members of the LGBTQIA+ community. After all, it’s their voices, messages, experiences and stories that give power to the whole movement, aren’t they? It is extremely necessary to realize that your role as an ally is to support and amplify.
As humans, we tend to be very uncomfortable and weird around change. But, it’s extremely essential to realise that change, as long as it is in the right direction, can be very essential and amazing. Now is the time to own up to the fact that you have been complicit in discriminatory systems and work towards changing them. So, please get comfortable being uncomfortable because your comfort comes at the expense of others.
As a person who’s working towards being an ally for the LGBTQIA+ community, you’re allowed to slip up and make mistakes. Being an ally is an ongoing process, and the best way to learn is through trial and error. At the end of the day, the important thing is to acknowledge when you’re wrong, and not make those same mistakes again.
As privileged people, we often forget that sometimes, even offering help to the members of the LGBTQIA+ community without them asking for it, can be seen as a very awful move. Don’t try to be a knight in shining armour or saviour. instead, offer support and create a safe space for the community members so they grow and learn how to stand up for themselves. This can definitely go a long way.
Last, but certainly not least, make your actions match your words. If you want to be an ally for the LGBTQIA+ community then support them by showing up as and when they need you. Show up for pride parades, marches, public events and movements. Also, volunteer your time, sign petitions and remember to donate to the cause. After all, all of this matters and it can make the world a much better place to live, for all of us.
The LGBTQIA+ community needs our support. The next time you see someone behave in a derogatory way, discriminate against members of the community or use wrong terms and language, say something. Change their mind. Work hard towards being an ally and help others take the journey towards the same, as well. It’s time to be strong and take action.
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