How to be an ally every day, not just in June

How straight and cisgender people can use their privilege for good

It's key for straight and cisgender people to engage in allyship all year round.
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Being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community is so much more than changing your profile picture to the rainbow flag.

An ally is someone who stands up, supports, and encourages the people around them. To be a good ally to your queer friends, family, coworkers, and community members, it’s essential to have an open mind and open heart.  

Here are a variety of different ways for straight and cisgender people to strengthen their allyship with the queer community.

Educate yourself and others

Straight and cisgender people are often not aware of the history of the LGBTQ+ community and the discrimination we have faced. As an ally, it’s not only essential to educate yourself on the historical discrimination queer people have faced, but also to develop an understanding of how these issues are still present today.

An ally doesn’t only take the opportunity to educate themselves; they also share their knowledge with others who are willing to learn.

Don’t make assumptions

As an ally, it’s important to refrain from making assumptions about anyone’s sexuality, gender identity, or pronouns. A person’s physical appearance or previous romantic partners do not correlate to their sexuality and expression.

As a straight and cisgender person, it’s essential to introduce yourself with your name and pronouns. This provides everyone with the opportunity to vocalize how they identify and how they would like to be addressed.

Support local LGBTQ+ artists and businesses

Instead of designating Pride month as the only time to support local queer artists and businesses, make a conscious effort to support these groups all year.

Local LGBTQ+ artists and businesses face significantly less support than big corporate businesses, so try to visit a local queer shop, purchase a book by a queer author, or listen to music by a different streaming artist. These acts of giving back may seem small, but these changes can make a world of a difference to queer creators.

Recognize your privilege and use it for the greater good

Being a heterosexual, cisgender person entails a variety of privileges. It grants you the privilege of never facing discrimination because of your gender expression, never being attacked for displaying love to your partner, and never being excluded from playing your favourite sport because of your gender identity.

It’s important for cisgender and heterosexual people to acknowledge how their privilege plays a part in the homophobic and transphobic system we live in. They also need to recognize they can use this privilege to educate others and stand up for those who are negatively impacted by such discrimination.

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As June comes to an end, don’t think of it as an end to Pride, but as a fresh start to engaging in allyship year-round.

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