How to be an LGBTQIA ally
We probably all know someone who is part of the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual) community. Or maybe you’re part of the LGBTQIA community Choma. We also know that there are stereotypes, misconceptions and stigma that LGBTQIA community faces that makes it harder for LGBTQIA people to live their truth and simply be who they are. LGBTQIA people have (and definitely deserve) the same rights as everyone else, but we all need to stand up and help members of the LGBTQIA community fight to enjoy those rights. So if you're wondering how you can play your part, here are a few tips on how to be an ally.
An LGBTQIA ally is someone who supports the LGBTQIA community and believes that they deserve to enjoy the same rights as everyone else. An LGBTQIA ally could be someone who does not identify as LGBTQIA (someone who is heterosexual, or straight) or it could be someone who does identify as LGBTQIA and wants to support others in the community. For example, you could be lesbian and be an ally to gay or bisexual members of the community.
The best person to tell you what it’s like to be LGBTQIA is someone who is part of that community. Listen to your friend, family member, classmate, colleague, or anyone who is part of the LGBTQIA community, when they tell you about their experience, their struggles and the things they don’t like other people saying about them. Don’t simply assume that you understand what they are going through, especially if you don’t identify as being part of the community. Listen to, and respect what they say.
Be open minded
Be willing to learn more about the LGBTQIA community Choma. Don’t just acknowledge that all people deserve equal rights but try to understand more about the people whose rights you’re supporting. The more you learn, the more you’ll be able to call others out when they discriminate against or make false claims about the LGBTQIA community.
Don’t exclude LGBTQIA people from your friends group Choma. If you do have LGBTQIA friends, don’t exclude them from your events or gatherings. Being an LGBTQIA ally means offering your full support and not being someone who would discriminate against anyone who is LGBTQIA.
Don’t make assumptions
Don’t assume that the people you meet or are surrounded by (like your classmates or colleagues) are all heterosexual (straight).
Being an LGBTQIA ally means respecting that we are all equal even though we are all different. It’s also about standing in support of those who are discriminated against in society. No one deserves to live a life where they can’t be themselves so we need to all fight against the things that threaten other people’s rights. Your support as an ally will go a long way Choma.
Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).
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