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BEING AN ALLY TO THE LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY

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Being an Ally

    • Trust your good intentions

You might not be a perfect advocate and you might feel that you don’t have much knowledge to support members of the LGBTQ+ community, however an imperfect advocate is much better than a silent bystander

  • Educate your self through professional development, inclusive development, inclusive workshops, or training and any other personal or professional growth opportunity.

Increase your awareness, especially in regards to gender-role stereotypes, gender-expression stereotypes, and possible internalized heteronormativism in your mind. Based on the awareness, you can reduce unintentional harm and create a safer and more inclusive classroom

  • Use more inclusive language

Use “they” pronouns instead of “he” or “she”

  • Confront any homophobic or negative marks

Many people use slurs without consideration for those they are offending. Teach others to not use terms that they do not fully understand because the incorrect use can result in harm.

Disclosing

When someone comes out to you and tells you they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) your initial response is important. They have likely spent time in advance thinking about whether or not to tell you, when and how to tell you and it’s likely that they chose to tell you because they see you or already know you as a supportive ally.

Here is what to remember if someone comes out to you:
1. Offer support but don’t assume they need any help.
2. Be a role model of acceptance.
3. Appreciate their courage.
4. Listen!Listen!Listen!
5. Assure and respect confidentiality
6. Remember that they have not changed.
7. Challenge traditional norms

 

Statistics

  • 71% of LGBTQ youth reported feeling sad or hopeless for at least two weeks in the past year.
  • 39% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past twelve months, with more than half of transgender and non-binary youth having seriously considered suicide.
  • 71% of LGBTQ youth in our study reported discrimination due to either their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Definitions

Understanding terms:

  • LGBTQIA+: An acronym that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer/questioning, asexual, and many other terms (such as non-binary and pansexual_ that people use to describe their experiences of their gender, sexuality and physiological sex characteristics.
  • Queer(queerness): An umbrella term that is both an orientation and a community for those on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. This umbrella term can be used by anyone under the LGBTQ spectrum.

Understanding Sexuality:

  • Gay: This identity is used to describe people whose enduring physical, romantic, and/or emotional attractions are to people of the same sex.
  • Lesbian: Defines queer attraction to women. Most commonly used as exclusively women who love women or non-binary people who love women. There is no one perfect definition that encompasses all experiences of lesbianism.
  • Bisexual: People who are sexually attracted not exclusively to people of one particular gender; attracted to both women and men.
  • Pansexual: People who are sexually attracted to all people regardless of gender identity.
  • Asexual: People who are not sexually attracted to any person regardless of gender identity.

Understanding Gender Expression:

  • Gender Identity: The gender a person feels they are inside. Only the individual can say what their gender identity is.
  • Gender non-conforming: A person who identifies as both genders, either gender or somewhere along the gender continuum, also known as gender non-binary or agender.
  • Transgender: When a person’s gender identity is different than what doctors assigned to then when they were born (sex assigned at birth).
  • Two-spirit: A person who identifies as having both a masculine and a feminine spirit. It may be used by some indigenous people to describe their sexuality, gender, and/or spiritual identity.
  • Third gender: Concept in which individuals are categorized either by themselves or by society. As neither man or woman. It is also a social category present in societies that recognize three or more genders.

Intent V. Impact

  • Intent: Someone’s reasoning or motivation for doing something
  • Impact: How the action or conversation made someone else feel

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