10 Actions for Allies
June is Pride Month—the world’s annual celebration of all things LGBTQIA and the communities included on the spectrum! With so much diversity within the rainbow of lesbian, gay, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual-identifying individuals, there is a lot to know, understand, and learn!
Like other marginalized communities (i.e. BIPOC, immigrants, Muslims, women, and people with disabilities in the world), if you don’t identify—and sometimes even if you do—it’s important to handle them with care. One important way to do that is to identify as an ally, which is a person who has privilege but recognizes their privilege and chooses to stand in alliance with marginalized communities and to take action toward dismantling the oppressive systems that work against these communities.
In honor and celebration of Pride this year, BABG is sharing a list of effective actions allies can take to stand in solidarity with members of the LGBTQ+ community [and any other marginalized community].
1. Listen Actively & Compassionately
Listen to marginalized people—listen when they speak in-person, pay attention to what
they post on social media platforms and within articles and other forms of media in
which they may share. What they have to say is about them and their experiences—
not you or your feelings—so be careful not to make it about you and/or to invalidate
them in the process.
2. Research to Educate Yourself
We are living in an information age, where you can find out everything about anything
—take advantage of your access to information and seek it out as frequently as you
can. Read books and articles centered around LGBTQ+ communities and their
historical and present-day issues—watch films, attend trainings, and listen to podcasts.
The opportunities to get educated become endless when you seek them out!
3. Get Involved in the Work
Getting involved can consist of both taking action physically in-person, as well as
taking action virtually and online. To get active in regard to LGBTQ+ issues, you can
join social groups and organizations fighting for change. Online, you can follow social
media accounts and subscribe to email lists to stay informed and share information that
informs others. You can also learn about events to attend to show up and support.
4. Ask Appropriate Questions
When you don’t know something, one of the best things you can do is to ask
questions. However, asking questions comes with a few caveats: It’s proper inquisitive
etiquette to seek out the answer to some questions with research before resorting to
asking someone you deem to be a primary source of LGBTQ+ knowledge, and while
there is no such thing as a dumb question, there is a such thing as an offensive and/or
an uncouth question.
Note: The act of asking questions is not to be confused with being intrusive or
inappropriately curious. Members of marginalized communities are human and have
feelings—so steer clear of asking questions that may make them feel like they are part
of a circus or the odd one out. If you’re unsure about a question you have, think about
how you might feel if someone asked you the same or a similar question, and/or err
on the side of caution and simply don’t ask it if you don’t know the person well enough
to know how they will respond to your inquiry.
5. Speak Up in Your Own Social Circles
In marginalized communities, silence is complicity. Thus, it is crucial to speak up and
speak out when individuals make hateful and/or ignorant remarks regarding the
LGBTQ+ community and its issues. No matter if the speaker is a friend, relative, co-
worker, or stranger, you must be willing to use your voice to advocate for what you
know is right. Otherwise, your silence will contribute to continued oppression.
6. Champion Identifying Members
No matter how much research you conduct and/or knowledge you have regarding
marginalized communities, it is always best practice to allow identifying individuals to
speak for themselves when possible. Oftentimes, the best person to speak on a topic
or issue is the person who lives it. So, if someone asks you a question about a topic or
issue to which you’re an ally, direct them to a person with experience and expertise in
the matter instead of responding yourself. Another way to champion identifying
members of marginalized groups is to advocate and recommend them for speaking
engagements you organize or know about and allow them to serve as keynote
speakers and panelists.
7. Embrace Your Discomfort
Change can be uncomfortable at times, but on the other side of that discomfort is
growth. To be an effective ally, you must be willing to trade your comfort in for
discomfort because your comfort comes at the expense of the individuals to which you
pledge your alliance. Marginalized communities need their alliances to take ownership
of their complicity that often accompanies comfort.
8. Learn From Your Mistakes
Serving within the role of an ally is an ongoing process, and there will be times when
you make a mistake and say or do the wrong thing. Many times, trial and error leads
to learning, and the mistakes you make during the process become opportunities to
improve and do better the next time. More important than any mistake you make is
what you do after you make it—acknowledge your error and do the necessary work to
avoid repeating it. Consider failure a launching point for learning.
9. Show Up & Be Present
When identifying as an ally, it’s important for your actions to align with your words.
You can show up for marginalized communities in a myriad of ways, such as by
taking responsibility for your actions, having both an open mindset and a growth
mindset, committing to learning [and un-learning in some instances], educating those
around you, marching and protesting, signing petitions, volunteering, donating and
more. There is truly something for everyone to do in support of marginalized
10. Donate Your Time/Money
Giving can occur in the form of time or money—or both. As an ally, you can commit
your time to working with local organizations doing social justice work in your
community on a consistent and ongoing basis. When it comes to donating money, be
sure your dollars go to causes and institutions that truly support LGBTQ+ causes and
Note: This is different from participating in Rainbow Capitalism, also known as Pink
Capitalism, where businesses market rainbow products in efforts to drive capitalism,
consumerism, and gentrification and to increase profits for their own gain and not
necessarily to benefit LGBTQ+ communities.
Happy Pride Month!
Meloni Capria is a Wisconsin native who currently resides in Texas with her wife, 10-year-old son, and their three pet Yorkies. Her professional background is in Secondary Education and English Language Arts and Reading. She currently serves in the role of Editorial Assistant at Mango Publishing Group and is a collaborative partner at DOPE Publishing. She enjoys writing, watching movies, and all things related to marriage, parenting, and family.