20 Ways to Be a True Ally During Pride & Every Other Day

Mandy Velez | Jun 3, 2020 Being a Mom
20 Ways to Be a True Ally During Pride & Every Other Day
Image: istock/Mixmike


istock/Mixmike

June is Pride month. Each year, businesses turn their websites into rainbows and people march in their city's parade. While LGBT support should be year-round, it's awesome that the LGBTQ community can have the space to express themselves and feel the love. But an important part of Pride is being an ally and there's more to it than just rainbows, Facebook or Instagram posts, and Pride parades. 

The easiest way is to speak out and shut down homophobia, using privilege to protect and help amplify the voices of the LGBTQ community. But there are other ways that are both louder and more subtle. Singing or starting petitions, or protesting when someone is treated unfairly. There's also supporting LGBT businesses and LGBT artists, authors, and creators. But the work that's every day is the hardest and most important: it's starting at home, teaching how to love and educating oneself. Check out the full list below. Congrats on being the best ally one can be. 

  • Donate to LGBT Causes

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    Donate to LGBT causes
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    One of the easiest and most effective ways to support the LGBT community is to donate to charities that support the cause. Some support LGBT homeless youth, like The Trevor Project, or the transgender community like the National Center for Transgender Equality, but there are so many others.

  • Amplify the Voices of the Unheard

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    Amplify the voices of the unheard
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    One of the definitions of oppression is actively having one's voice silenced. Helping people who are oppressed, in this case, the LGBTQ community, through sharing their message and helping their concerns be heard and needs to be met is a way to help them.

  • Call Out Homophobic People

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    Call out homophobic people
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    Part of helping the LGBT community is amplifying voices but it's also standing up to people who say homophobic things. It is these people or actions that keep things the status quo and the LGBT community seen as "less than."

  • Vote for Lawmakers Who Support the LGBT Community

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    Vote for lawmakers who support the LGBT community
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    Speaking up is a good idea, as is shutting down those who are hurtful. But another effective way to support the LGBT community is through voting. Vote for people who are inclusive to them and committed to taking actions that will protect LGBT rights. 

  • Sign Petitions That Support Change

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    Sign petitions that support change
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    If it isn't election time, that's OK. There are still opportunities for public discourse and to encourage the government to enact inclusive and positive changes for the LGBT community. How? With petitions. There's sites like GoFundMe and Change.org that allow citizens to show their support for change. Or to stop a law that isn't good.

  • Show Up & Be an Ally at Pride Events

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    Show up and be an ally at Pride
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    Now this one is actually quite a fun way to be an ally. Show up at Pride events and march, stand with others, listen and learn. Be another person standing with those who fight for their rights every day. It's a great way to show solidarity regardless of one's sexual orientation. 

  • Support LGBTQ-Run Businesses in the Community

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    Support businesses that are run by or supportive of the LGBTQ community
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    One way to be an ally is to let those dollars speak out for the LGBT community. Donating is a part of that, but anther way to support LGBT folks is by contributing to their businesses. Discrimination may keep people from using their goods or services, so that's why it's all the more important to show financial support. 

  • Make Pride Inclusive to Black & Brown People

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    Make Pride inclusive to black and brown people
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    Although being gay, lesbian, trans, bi, or queer does not conform to any one race or color, the oppression that one can face being both a member of the LGBT community while also being a person of color is greater. Recognizing that and making room for their voices is just as important as other shows of support.

  • Don't Ask the LGBTQ Community to Educate 

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    Don't ask the LGBTQ community to educate
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    While many of the ways to be an ally are about positive moves and being proactive, one of the ways to be an ally is to know when not to speak or do something. In this case, it's not putting the burden of learning about rights and activism on the community that is being oppressed. 

  • Read About LGBTQ History

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    Read about LGBTQ history
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    Speaking of educating oneself, the best way to do that is to look at the history of the LGBTQ community and learning about the struggle, the issues they face, the laws that hold them back, and all they've overcome. Their movement had a civil rights movement, too, and it started with a riot.

  • Read Books or Buy Art From LGBTQ Artists & Authors

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    Read books or buy art from LGBTQ artists and authors
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    Supporting the LGBT community doesn't start and stop with businesses. It's important to read the stories and support the art of the community as well. It's a way to amplify their voices and make their work heard and relevant. 

  • Stand as an Ally During Protests

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    Stand as an ally during protests
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    Allies at protests are vital. Though the oppression and discrimination may not impact one personally, showing up for others is an amazing sign of support and solidarity. It also becomes vital, even life-saving, to use privilege an ally when things at the protest get dangerous. 

  • Follow the Lead of Those in the Community

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    Follow the lead of those in the community.
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    Being an ally is about following the lead and learning from the people who are part of the oppressed group and have the lived experience it takes to understand what is needed to move a movement forward. They can tell us what they need. Listen to them.

  • Be Inclusive in Kids' Books & Media

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    Be inclusive in the books and media given to kids
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    Being inclusive, kind, and loving to everyone from all walks of life starts at home, and that is especially true for teaching kids about the LGBT community. Being an ally means teaching children to love folks for who they are. 

  • Boycott Businesses That Do Active Harm

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    Boycott businesses who do active harm to the community
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    When businesses do not support the basic human rights of other people, it's important to make sure that they know it is not OK. Boycotting is a way to do that as well as show LGBT community that its members' well-being is more important than whatever that business has to offer. 

  • Teach Kids How To Love &  Respect Others

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    Teach children how to love and respect others
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    We touched upon this earlier a bit with raising children to love and respect others, but if that conversation happens later, or if they are older, it's important to teach kids how to also be allies and step in if someone is hurting or in need. 

  • Check in on LGBTQ Friends During Hard Times

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    Check in on LGBTQ friends and loved ones during hard times
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    Life is hard for all of us, but there are specific issues that constantly try to bring LGBT Americans down. Whether it's homophobic laws or businesses, discrimination at work, or something in the the same vein, it's important to check in on our friends and loved ones. It gets tiring. 

  • Watch for Bullying of Children of Same-Sex Partners

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    Keep an eye out for bullying of LGBTQ kids or children of same-sex partners
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    It's extremely hard to adopt as a same-sex couple or even have a child through a surrogate. Support LGBT friends or loved ones going through this and treat them as any other couple starting a family. And of course, be there for their children. 

  • Call Out Offensive Language

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    Call out offensive language
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    Actions may speak louder than words, but words and rhetoric have an impact. That's why there are speeches and debates in election years and why English is a mandatory class. For this reason, negative words to demean the LGBT community should be called out.

  • Say, 'I Love You for You'

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    Say
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    Simply telling LGBT folks that they are loved, appreciated, and have just as much a right to the things everyone else has is just as important as the other items on this list. The community has high rates of suicide, and helping people feel like they belong could save lives.

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