You’re looking for information on how to be an LGBTQIA+ ally. You may be a family member, friend, co-worker, teacher, and have an LGBTQIA+ person in your life. Perhaps you are simply looking for ways to get involved and show support. Nonetheless, this blog is a great place to start!
It is crucial that the LGBTQIA+ community has solidarity beyond Pride Month. Pride Month is an amazing opportunity for people to come together and celebrate both the history and significance of this community. However, sometimes that recognition can be left behind until the next year to come.
You can be an ally year-round, in-person, online, or across the sea!
This isn’t just through re-posting information on social media – you can do more little things to create a big impact. This includes: 1) Know the key terminology and definitions. 2) Take social action. 3) Be respectful and interested in their experiences. 4) Show support and solidarity.
How to Be an LGBTQIA+ Ally: Know the key terminology and definitions
So, what does LGBTQIA+ stand for? Although these words may be common knowledge to you, make sure that you have the exact right definitions. In conversations with others, you may find the need to correct someone for the correct terminology.
These definitions and terminology are sourced from the Human Rights Campaign report on Being an LGBTQ+ Ally. Linked here, where you can also find greater explanations into these terms.
Lesbian: A woman or non-binary individual who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to women.
Gay: A person who is emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to members of the same gender. Men, women and non-binary people may use this term to describe themselves.
Bisexual: A person emotionally, romantically or sexually attracted to more than one sex, gender or gender identity.
Transgender: An umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth.
Queer: A general umbrella term to capture all non-heterosexual sexual identities, and/or non-cisgender gender identities.
Intersex: Intersex people are born with a variety of differences in their sex traits and reproductive anatomy.
Asexual: A complete or partial lack of sexual attraction or lack of interest in sexual activity with others.
Aromantic: An umbrella term for those who experience little to no romantic attraction.
Other important terms to know include:
Non-binary: Describes a person who does not identify exclusively as a man or a woman. A non-binary person may identify as being both a man and a woman, somewhere in between, or completely outside these categories.
Cisgender: A term used to describe a person whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned at birth.
Gender Identity: The personal sense of one’s own gender. Gender identity can correlate with a person’s assigned sex or can differ from it. An individual may have preferred pronouns alongside this.
Pronouns: A word or a group of words that one may substitute for a noun or noun phrase. This includes “he/him/his, she/her/hers, they/them/theirs”. Pronouns identify people from a third-person perspective.
How to Be an LGBTQIA+ Ally: Take social action
One major way to be an ally? Take social action. This includes: voting, knowing what bills are being proposed, and current laws in place. There may be political movements as well for transgender issues or LGBTQ+ youth.
In your community, there are leaders fighting for equality and inclusion for the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. Make sure to stay educated on what these potential leaders are proposing they will do for the community. Get involved with pro-LGBTQIA+ groups or campaigns. Furthermore, contact your elected officials about LGBTQIA+ rights.
In addition, do your research on what political leaders have already done, or are currently doing.
Voting is powerful, especially in numbers. Politics can be distressing to involve yourself with or think about. Connect with others who are passionate about taking social action to do so together.
Nonetheless, showing and doing your part matters. You can contribute to voting in life-saving laws, protecting access to healthcare, and more. Therefore, ensuring that existing LGBTQIA+ members and future generations are protected can help make this world a better and more inclusive place.
LGBTQIA+ affirming therapy in Simi Valley is here, waiting to provide you support. Our therapists are passionate about providing care to LGBTQIA+ members! Make sure to read our blog on Crucial Steps Parents Can Take to Prevent Teen Suicide.
How to Be an LGBTQIA+ Ally: Be respectful and interested of their experiences
You may have questions or genuine curiosity about their journey to get to where they are today. You want to understand the right way to address or refer to someone, such as through using their preferred pronouns or name.
A couple of questions to ask include:
- What was the coming out process like for you?
- How were things for you growing up?
- When did you first know you identified this way?
- How can I be of support to you?
- Would you like to keep this between me and you?
You may also want to tell them things like:
- I’m new to this, and trying to learn the best I can.
- I will practice using your preferred pronouns / name, I’m sorry if I slip up sometimes.
- Let me know if I say or do something that makes you uncomfortable.
- I’m honored you have shared this information with me!
Giving them opportunities to share their experiences and stories helps you learn first-hand what they may have gone through. Not all of us come from loving, supportive families or communities. There may be a lot of trauma around coming out, and they struggle to feel safe in expressing who they are.
Therefore, give them a space to be that person. Validate how they would like to be referred to. Thank them for sharing information with you. And ensure that you are finding ways to help them feel comfortable and safe around you.
LGBTQIA+ therapy near Simi Valley, CA is an affirming space for you to express yourself or understand yourself better. Therefore, if you’re a family member of an LGBTQIA+ teen, make sure to read our blog on Ways to Support an LGBTQIA+ Teen!
How to Be an LGBTQIA+ Ally: Show support and solidarity on a regular basis
There are many ways to show support and solidarity, both big and small. Regardless, they are equally important and as meaningful.
- Support an LGBTQIA+ owned business.
- Read a book about LGBTQIA+ experiences (fiction/nonfiction/autobiography).
- Watch a TV show, movie, or documentary about the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Research about mental health / health care statistics for the community.
- Stand up for the LGBTQIA+ community whenever you can (of course, when it’s safe to do so).
At work or school:
- State your pronouns. Whether by a pin, an email signature, or introducing yourself with them to others.
- Avoid using heteronormative language. Include narratives for same-sex couples, parents, transgender youth, elderly queer people, and more.
- Promote more diversity and inclusion through your own work. This could be through graphic design, writing, research, outreach, and much more!
- Have symbols, stickers, or other things showing your support for the community.
With family or friends:
- Find or create opportunities to talk about the LGBTQIA+ community and some issues they face.
- Attend a local drag show, pride event, or other celebrations going on in your community or nearby cities.
- Plan nights where you all get together to watch a TV show or movie.
- Talk about social justice issues ongoing, or actions you can all take.
Connect with a loved LGBTQIA+ individual in your life to see how you can further be an ally for them and the community at large.
In-person therapy in Simi Valley is ideal for those seeking a separate, safe space from their home. Check out our blog on Online Therapy or In Office Therapy to understand what format is best for you. Another great blog to read is ours on if you need Therapy or Medication to address your issues, as well as information on Therapy: Where to Start.
By seeking out support, you can begin your journey to feeling relief. You don’t have to go through finding the right level of support alone, either.
Consider calling our therapy group at (805) 774-1506 for a free consultation on how you or a loved one can get started today!
Seek out a validating, safe environment with us today. We will help you get to where you want to be. Our therapists provide trauma therapy, teen therapy, individual adult therapy, LGBTQIA+ therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, family therapy, and more in-office in Simi Valley, CA.