six ways to Respectfully be a better lgbtq ally - Adapted from Francisco Pallarés-Santiago’s Article for OprahMag.com
1 - Recognize your privilege and use it for good.
Simply existing as a cisgender person and not facing discrimination for your gender at work is a privilege. According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, one in four transgender adults have lost their job due to bias, and more than three-forths have experienced some form of workplace discrimination.
2 - Ask educated questions and do your research.
Learn, learn, learn. As a Black and Native American woman in America, I don’t see it solely as my burden to educate others about the racism and discrimination that I experience living in America. We should also not place this burden upon the LGBTQ community. Learn first, Google, and then ask educated questions later.
3 - Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
You may make mistakes along your journey as an ally. I know I certainly have, and I’ve learned that that is completely okay. The important thing is that if you do make a mistake as an ally, that you don’t dwell on the negativity that may come about and instead reach out to your LGBTQ peers to learn how to not make the same mistake again.
4 - Take your online activism into real-life scenarios.
Social media is a wonderful tool to learn to be a better ally, but be sure you are not speaking on behalf of the LGBTQ community. The biggest reason I adapted this article for The Mod Little Melanin, was to make sure that I did not speak on the behalf of a community that I was not a part of, because I do not experience the same struggles as someone in the LGBTQ community. Instead, use your platform to amplify the voices of the LGBTQ community as their voices are often silenced.
5 - Speak up for the underrepresented.
This best way to be an ally is by speaking up! If you see someone mistreating a member of the LGBTQ community, say something! To be silent is to be complicit with the behavior.
6 - Follow the lead of your LGBTQ peers.
This article mentioned an important phenomenon that is sometimes used by allies, known as performative allyship. During this phenomenon, the ally attempts to defend their LGBTQ peer but overshadows and occupies the queer person’s right to speak up for themselves. Instead, use your privilege to benefit the LGBTQ community, not to benefit your ego. Ask how you should be involved as an ally instead of assuming a role for yourself. #themodlittlemelanin
Link to Oprah Magazine article -
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