7 Ways to Be an Active LGBTQIA+ Ally With Chantelle Otten

by Chantelle Otten

on Feb 17, 2023

Celebrating all sexualities calls for education, advocacy and reflection.

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Mardi Gras is a time of celebration, joy, and unity. It is a time when people from all walks of life come together to celebrate and embrace diversity. As part of Lovehoney’s ‘Be Proud’ campaign, we thought it was important to couple this celebration with a reflection on the best ways to support those in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Allying with the LGBTQIA+ community is about more than just celebrating their existence. It is about actively working to create a safe and inclusive environment for all people, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. Here are some practical ways you can become a strong ally for the LGBTQIA+ people in your life:

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1. Educate yourself

The first step towards becoming an ally is educating yourself about the experiences and challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. Read books, attend events, and engage in conversations to gain a deeper understanding of the issues that affect this community.

2. Use inclusive language

Use language that is inclusive and respectful of all gender identities and expressions. First and foremost, this involves avoiding the use of language that is explicity harmful or offensive, such as slurs or stereotypes. However, inclusive language also calls for subtle changes to how we speak during everyday life. Avoid language that assumes a person’s gender or sexual orientation (eg. using ‘partner’ instead of ‘girlfriend’ or ‘hey everyone’ instead of ‘hey guys’) and educate yourself on the correct use of pronouns.

3. Speak out against discrimination

If you witness or hear about discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community, speak out against it. Whether it is through a social media post or a face-to-face conversation, it is important to make it clear that discrimination is never acceptable.

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4. Support LGBTQIA+ businesses and organisations

Meaningful support of the LGBTQIA+ community doesn’t just stop at an individual level. It also involves financially supporting businesses owned or operated by members of the community. By doing so, you are going beyond just talking to talk and uplifting the everyday efforts of marginalised groups.

5. Be an ally in your personal relationships

Whether it’s a friend, family member, or coworker, you can demonstrate your allyship by establishing a safe space for sharing and actively listening to their individual experiences. In addition to listening and supporting, it’s important to also keep an open mind towards learning and personal growth. Being a long-term ally for your personal relationships will involve challenging your own underlying prejudices and acknowledging the privilege you hold in society as a straight individual.

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6. Celebrate diversity

Celebrate and embrace the diversity of the LGBTQIA+ community by attending events and festivals, such as Mardi Gras, that celebrate this diversity.

7. Advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights

Advocate for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community by speaking out about issues that affect this community, such as equal rights and protections, and by supporting organisations and movements that work towards these goals.

Now it's your turn to show up

Overall, being an ally to the LGBTQIA+ community involves actively listening, learning, advocating, and being supportive of individuals' identities and experiences. There is no better time than now to call out discrimination or harmful behaviour when you see it, and use your voice to promote inclusivity and acceptance. By putting into practice the tips outlined above, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable world for all people.

Chantelle Otten

Written by Chantelle Otten. Lovehoney Australia's Resident Sexologist
Helping to ensure empowerment, sexual wellbeing and pleasure are at the center of all your sexual experiences

Originally published on Feb 17, 2023. Updated on Feb 17, 2023