Looking for simple ways to start being amore engaged and active straight ally? Try using a few of these suggestions to build your ally skills and start creating change.
- Be open. Talk about having gay friends, family, colleagues, or acquaintances. When you talk about them, don’t omit the fact that they’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).
- Ask questions. Especially when you aren’t sure about the acronyms, terminology, or words to use when talking about your gay friends, family, colleagues, or acquaintances.
- Become informed. Learn about the realities, challenges and issues affecting the lives of LGBT people through websites, books, documentaries, and educational materials.
- Speak up. When you hear derogatory slurs or joke, like “that’s so gay,” say something – and don’t tell them yourself.
- Help your kids. Teach them about all different kinds of families. Be mindful of the day-to-day messages that they are receiving about gay and transgender people and issues in school, from friends, the web, and on TV.
- Reconsider your membership. There are many organizations that overtly discriminate against the LGBT community. Be sure to let them know why you are leaving or not joining in the first place.
- Think about where you spend. Support gay, lesbian, bi, and/or transgender-owned and friendly businesses that have policies in place to ensure equal treatment for all.
- Challenge those around you. Encourage your social club, workplace, or faith community to consider inclusive policies that protect the LGBT community from discrimination.
- Get loud. Write letters to the editor of your newspaper to comment as a straight ally on why you support respectful and equal treatment for LGBT people.
- Become an advocate. Call, write, e-mail, or visit public policy makers and let them know that as a straight person who votes, you support laws that extend equal rights and protections to all people.
Don’t forget to visit www.straightforequality.org and read the guide to being a straight ally.