An ally is someone who stands up for, supports and encourages the people around them. Friends, family, and community members can play a huge role in supporting sexuality and gender diverse people. Your actions and behaviours, big or small, can help make the world a better place for LGBTIQ people.
There are many ways you can support sexuality or gender diverse people.
- Learn about issues that affect LGBTIQ people – talk to people who identify, do your own research, listen to podcasts etc. so you can gain an understanding of their perspective
- Avoid assumptions and stereotypes about a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity, and use inclusive language when talking about relationships such as ‘partner’ instead of ‘boyfriend’ or ‘girlfriend’
- Respect their confidentiality – if someone ‘comes out’ to you, don’t tell anyone else unless they want you to. They may just need you to listen or help them to find information or services. It can be unsafe for some people to have their sexuality or gender identity disclosed beyond those they have entrusted with this information
- Be inclusive – treat them the same way you treat anyone else, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity
- Challenge harmful language like ‘that’s so gay’. Let people know you find them offensive
- Stand up to discrimination. If you witness homophobic or transphobic bullying and discrimination, gently shut it down or report it to your teacher, lecturer, boss, parent or carer
- Educate! Step up, support and use your voice to educate the people around you to better understand LGBTIQ people and their rights