Last month was #pridemonth and whilst I'm glad of this month long celebration of and support for the LGBTQ+ community it's important to remember that we need to be good allies all year round. Here's 5 ways you can do that:
Before I even start with the list: the best thing you can do is just treat everyone - regardless of gender or sexuality - with kindness and respect. I was going to make that point no1 but it seemed too basic! So let's assume that's the foundation from which the following points will be built on...
Educate yourself. Learn the correct language to use, read up on LGBTQ+ history and understand the challenges LGBTQ+ community face. Be committed to ongoing learning. It's OK to make mistakes as you learn; just apologise, correct yourself and move on.
Introduce yourself using your pronouns, even if you're not trans. This is such a simple way to tell people you are safe to be around. You can do this on your email signature, social media profiles and in person: "Hi, I'm Natalie and my pronouns are she/her."
Call out homophobia and transphobia if you see it. Do not compromise your safety and don't feel you have to go on a crusade, but do tell people that their language is offensive or that their behaviour is harmful. Try to do this in a firm but non-judgemental way. You can report abuse & misrepresentation in the media via glaad.org
Diversify your bookshelf, Netflix watchlist, podcast playlist and social media feeds. The content doesn't necessarily have to have a sexuality or gender focus, it can just be the work you enjoy of an LGBTQ+ person.
Stand up for marginalised groups through your activism - sign petitions, attend protests and write to your MP. We've come a long way in terms of equality but there's still a way to go here in the UK and abroad.
Check out my free resources downloads for the LGBTQ+ community and for allies here. Includes where you can learn more about queer history and pronouns and TV/podcast/Instagram suggestions.