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Maybe you have an LGBT sibling, child, friend or colleague at work and you’re wondering how can I be a good LGBT ally? You want to support them, but don’t know how to without going overboard and covering yourself in rainbows flags and ‘Someone I love is LGBT’ t-shirts. Do not worry, there are plenty of ways you can support us without feeling like you’re going over the top! I have compiled a list of these things, so I can help you help those LGBT people in your life.
Coming out can be really scary and so if an LGBT person has come out to you. It’s likely that they trust you a lot. Be prepared to listen to them and be comforting if they’re struggling. Show them you care about their experiences. Even if it’s a simple ‘I’m sorry that happened to you’, or ‘Oh dear, that must be really hard.’ A little can go a long way! Talking to other people is important too. Ask the LGBT person in your life if they would like you to tell other people in their life. Sometimes coming out to one person who is willing to help you come out to others takes a lot of stress off the person coming out. Offering to tell others may really help the individual, however, don’t share this information unless given permission first!
LGBT people often get a lot of questions directed at them, which can feel really overwhelming. Rather than asking the LGBT person in your life all of the questions you have when they first come out to you. Try looking at some of the resources listed below first! Here you’ll be able to find a lot of the information you need, along with local support groups for friends and family as well as the LGBT person you are trying to help.
Where to find support:
Refer to your loved one with the correct name and pronouns. This is mainly for transgender people, however, respect is important for all LGBT people. Think about the things you say and be prepared to alter your language if needed. Also, try to remember that not everyone (including the media) are progressive and things like LGBT jokes are not always appropriate! Remember, names, pronouns and sexuality do not define a person!
In conclusion, it’s super easy to be an LGBT ally in 2019! With the internet at our fingertips, it’s never been easier than it is now to learn how to help others without bombarding them with questions. Trust your instinct with the LGBT loved one in your life. Chances are you will know how to support them better than this, or any blog out there. Don’t worry and trust yourself and the other person to tell you if you slip up!
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