As a cis-woman, I understand the importance of creating a more inclusive world for people who differ from me. One group that faces significant challenges in society is the LGBTQIA2S community. For those who are not familiar, LGBTQIA2S stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Agender, and Two-Spirit. In this post, I will share some tips for being a good ally to the LGBTQIA2S community, how to intervene on the behalf of someone being bullied, and common questions and obstacles that readers may have to including people who differ from them.
Tip #1: Educate yourself
The first step to being a good ally to the LGBTQIA2S community is to educate yourself. This means reading books and articles, watching movies and TV shows, and listening to podcasts that are written and produced by people who are part of the community. By doing this, you can learn about the challenges that LGBTQIA2S individuals face, the language that is used to describe them, and the experiences that are unique to their community.
Tip #2: Use inclusive language
Language is powerful, and it is important to use language that is respectful and inclusive of everyone. This means using gender-neutral pronouns when appropriate, such as "they/them" instead of "he/she." It also means avoiding stereotypes and assumptions about people based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. For example, instead of assuming that all gay men are flamboyant, it is important to recognize that everyone is unique and different.
Tip #3: Be an advocate
As an ally, it is important to speak up when you witness discrimination or bullying. This can be difficult, but it is important to remember that silence is complicity. If you hear someone making homophobic or transphobic comments, it is important to call them out on it and explain why their behavior is harmful. If you witness someone being bullied, it is important to intervene and offer support. You can also advocate for LGBTQIA2S rights by contacting your elected officials and participating in rallies and demonstrations.
Common Questions and Obstacles
One common question that people may have when it comes to including the LGBTQIA2S community is "why do we need to make a big deal about it?" The answer is simple: because people who are part of the LGBTQIA2S community face significant challenges, including discrimination, harassment, and violence. By creating a more inclusive world, we can help to reduce these challenges and create a society that is fair and just for everyone.
Another obstacle that people may face is a lack of understanding or familiarity with the LGBTQIA2S community. It is important to remember that everyone is different, and it is okay to not know everything. The key is to be open-minded and willing to learn. By taking the time to educate yourself and listen to the experiences of LGBTQIA2S individuals, you can become a better ally and create a more inclusive world.
According to a report by the National LGBTQ Task Force, 58% of LGBTQIA2S individuals experience discrimination in their daily lives, and 90% of transgender individuals report experiencing harassment, mistreatment, or discrimination at work. Additionally, a report by the Human Rights Campaign
Unfortunately, suicide rates among transgender individuals are disproportionately high compared to the general population. According to a 2015 report by the US Transgender Survey, 40% of respondents reported having attempted suicide in their lifetime, compared to 4.6% of the overall US population. This statistic highlights the importance of creating a more inclusive and supportive world for transgender individuals.
A few Resources
Human Rights Campaign (HRC): The HRC is one of the largest LGBTQIA2S advocacy organizations in the United States. Their website offers a wealth of resources, including guides for allies, workplace inclusion resources, and educational materials. Visit their website: https://www.hrc.org/
GLAAD: GLAAD is a leading LGBTQIA2S media advocacy organization. They provide resources for allies, including tips for being a good ally, glossaries of LGBTQIA2S terminology, and media reference guides. Check their website: https://www.glaad.org/
PFLAG: PFLAG is an organization that supports families, allies, and the LGBTQIA2S community. They offer numerous resources, including guides for parents and allies, support groups, and educational materials. Explore their website: https://pflag.org/
National LGBTQ Task Force: The National LGBTQ Task Force is an organization that advocates for LGBTQIA2S rights and provides resources for allies. Their website offers educational materials, action guides, and toolkits. Visit their website: https://www.thetaskforce.org/
It Gets Better Project: This project aims to uplift and empower LGBTQIA2S youth through inspiring stories and support. Their website features resources for allies, including guides, videos, and educational materials. Explore their website: https://itgetsbetter.org/
Trevor Project: The Trevor Project is a leading organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQIA2S youth. They offer resources for allies, including guides on supporting LGBTQIA2S youth and educational materials. Visit their website: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/
LGBT National Help Center: The LGBT National Help Center offers support, information, and resources through their hotline, online chat, and email services. They have resources for allies, including guides on supporting transgender individuals and providing affirming spaces. Explore their website: https://www.glbthotline.org/
Books and Literature: There are many books and literature resources available that can help educate allies and promote understanding of the LGBTQIA2S community. Some recommended titles include "This Book is Gay" by Juno Dawson, "The ABC's of LGBT+" by Ashley Mardell, and "All About Love: New Visions" by bell hooks.
LGBTQ+ older Americans face tremendous challenges when it comes to health care and they are bringing awareness to this topic to help change that. Their recently published an "LGBTQ+ Elder Health Care Guide" to connect older adults in the LGBTQ+ community to the resources and information that will help them find the care they need.https://www.retireguide.com/guides/lgbtq-elder-health-care/