This blog is part of the Cardiff Pride: More Than A Month campaign, which aims to amplify young people’s thoughts and experiences outside of Pride month. This blog shares tips about how to be a great LGBTQ+ ally.
What is an LGBTQ+ ally?
An LGBTQ+ ally is someone who identifies as heterosexual and is cisgender, yet supports equal rights, gender equality and LGBTQ+ social movements. Even if you mean well, it’s always good to educate yourself about how to be a more supportive ally.
Understand the history of Pride
Understanding how far LGBTQ+ people have come is crucial in supporting queer people in their fight for equal rights. TheSprout has lots of blogs featuring LGBTQ history, including:
Engaging with these articles is a great place to start.
Educate yourself on LGBTQ+ language
Understanding different sexualities and gender identities are really important to being an LGBTQ+ ally. It’ll help you to understand more than just ‘straight’ or ‘gay’ and ‘male’ or ‘female’.
Don’t say “that’s gay”
If you say, “that’s gay’, question your language. You probably didn’t mean it in reference to homosexuals, however, using it in a negative fashion is offensive. Try to be aware of the language you use and what it might mean to other people.
Remember that people have the right to privacy
Often, LGBTQ+ people are bombarded with questions about their sexuality and gender identity. The community tackles questions about what being queer means, their experiences, and attitudes to progressive laws. It’s okay to ask questions respectfully, but try to research and understand things yourself first if you can. Google can answer almost anything!
Take a stand with LGBTQ+ people
Being a good ally doesn’t just mean waving a rainbow flag at a Pride parade, wearing glitter and singing your heart out to Lady Gaga. Try to tackle discrimination and prejudice by speaking up, signing petitions and attending protests for positive change.
Buy from small LGBTQ+ businesses
There’s no need to walk around head-to-toe in rainbow 24/7 to show that you’re a good ally. However, if you’re attending an event where you’d like to be a little more colourful, shop carefully. It’s easy to fall into the trap of buying from big corporations profiting from Pride. Try to be aware of this and find small businesses owned by LGBTQ+ individuals to support queer folk.
Check out queer films, tv shows and books
LGBTQ+ people are massively underrepresented in media. Try to engage with some stories about LGBT+ people or with works of art created by queer people to support them. If you’re unsure where to start, check out TheSprout’s Top 10 Must Watches For LGBTQ+ History Month.
Acknowledge that you’ll make mistakes
Sometimes people get things wrong, and that’s okay – nobody is perfect. A prime example of this is misgendering someone or using incorrect pronouns. If you find yourself doing this accidentally, don’t beat yourself up too much. Just apologise and correct yourself! It’s always good practice to ask somebody their pronouns to avoid misgendering, though.
This blog was originally written by a young person, halynasadventures, in 2021. It was reposted to be part of this campaign.
Check out TheSprout’s LGBTQ+ information page where you can find loads of useful info on local and national LGBTQ+ support services.
If you’re sharing our posts from the Cardiff Pride: More Than A Month campaign on social media, remember to use the #MoreThanAMonth hashtag and tag us.