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Joining the Alliance

by Lucy Greaney

Pride month is coming to an end, but that doesn’t mean the LGBTQIA+ community will rest. We’re laying out the best ways you can support LGBTQIA+ rights, and join the alliance.

Avoid Using Exclusionary Language

It is common for people to refer to large groups of people as “boys and girls” or “ladies and gentlemen”. This may seem like a no-brainer because it is inclusive of both men and women. However, some people identify themselves as non-binary. This means that they prefer to be referred to as the pronoun “they or them”. 

Avoiding using this language is an easy fix. Simply refer to large groups using the word “everyone”. This way you will be sure to make everyone feel comfortable and acknowledged.

Be an Advocate for Pronoun Usage

Picture this… you’re in a bar with a group of friends and one friend refers to a non-binary friend as “she”. Even though the friend may appear to be OK with the mistake, be an advocate. This may seem like a small mistake, and appear to do no harm, but feeling included and respected begins with the small things.

Being an advocate can be done by simply clearing the air. Just be casual about it and ask, “Hey, you prefer to use the pronouns they and them right?” This will allow the entire group to show respect for not only the LGBTQIA+ friends in the circle, but also the entire LGBTQIA+ community.

Correct any and all Microaggressions

A horrible habit that many people have is using identities as adjectives. For example, using the word “gay” to describe something that you see as being stupid is a common theme amongst many age groups. This also happens when people describe things as being fruity or soft.

Call people out. When you hear a friend, family member or colleague use any identities as derogatory adjectives be sure to use it as an educational opportunity. Explain why this is wrong and disrespectful to the LGBTQIA+ community. The change can only happen if people spark the fire in these seemingly small ways.

Support LGBTQIA+ Work

The LGBTQIA+ community is all around you. There are many different forms of work that are created by people in this diverse community. Be sure to show support for the poetry, art galleries, theatre performances, books, recitals and presentations being created by people inside the LGBTQIA+ community. Showing up and showing interest creates a lasting impression of solidarity and respect. 

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Show Your Pronouns

Everyone uses pronouns that make them the most comfortable. For you, this might be something that you’ve never even considered. For others, pronouns might be the biggest part of their identity. You can be a part of mainstreaming the presentation of pronouns in everyday life. 

This can be a simple addition to things like your email signature. Professionals send a multitude of emails each and every day. Having your pronouns present will spread the message of solidarity, and will encourage others to do the same.

Love Yourself!

Giving respect to others begins with respecting yourself. By showing your confidence and kindness to the world, you can become a strong ally of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

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