We talk about and mention the use of slurs in this article, so navigate away now if you’re not comfortable reading about that!
An ally is someone who works with LGBTQ people to fight injustices and supports them, though the ally does not identify as LGBTQ themselves.
Just like how Batman and Robin work together to fight the bad guys, queer people and allies do the same! Though you don't have to be a superhero to be an ally, you can help people with your superpower of kindness. I like to think of allies as undercover spies that go around helping the LGBTQ community. Cheesy huh? Batman doesn't think so. In the words of our beloved and extremely hot Zac Efron, “Together. We’re here for each other every time. Together. Together. Come on and do this one”.
This is the Guide To Being An Ally.
01. Shhhh! Batman never gossips!
When someone has come out to you, they must trust you right? So make sure you don't tell other people. No one likes rumours being spread about them. If they are fine with people talking about it, and bring it up in conversations, don't make it a huge deal. Stay chilled. Calm your farm. Stay loosey goosey. Settle your kettle. Everyone has a sexuality and gender so make sure that you don't freak out about theirs. It’s all g.
02. Respect their pronouns!
If you know someone who is trans make sure that you respect their pronouns. Don't be afraid to ask them what their preferred pronoun is, they will be cool with it! That's probably why Batman and Robin are such good friends! Batman might have said “Hi Robin! Your name is gender neutral, and I was wondering what pronoun you would prefer me to use. It's a very lovely name might I add”. Robin would have been super chilled about this because Batman asked with kindness and respect. If someone asks you to call them by their preferred pronoun, you might slip up and make mistakes some times. Don’t make a big deal about it. Just pick a quick apology and move on. Want to learn more about pronouns and how to use them? Check out this useful guide!
03. Stand up for the oppressed!
Batman and Robin always help each other out in sticky situations. This is the same with LGBTQ people and allies! It is very important that if you see someone being bullied because of their sexuality or gender, that you stand up to those bullies. This doesn't mean acting violently or yelling at them. It also means that if someone uses the words in a derogatory manner or uses other derogatory terms for homosexual like, ‘gay’, 'dyke' or ‘fag', you don't let them get away with it!
Here's what you could say: "Hi there. I heard you say that your weekend was so gay. Could you please not use that term in that type of context because it can hurt other people. Much appreciated!’
04. Use that super power of kindness
Sometimes your LGBTQ friend wants you to listen to things that they wouldn’t tell just anyone else. This is where you need to use your superpower of kindness. This means being a listening ear and a helping hand (and any other body parts that may help. Whoops, bad pun #sorrynotsorry). You may not understand what it means to be LGBTQ, or how they are feeling, but that’s okay. People are more than their sexuality and their gender.
05. Now you can ride the waves
Now it's your turn to go out into the world and be the best ally you can be! It’s all about support. It can be scary and new to you, but it’s rewarding to be helping and supporting people. It can be scary because not everyone supports LGBTQ people, so you might be nervous about possible negative backlash you may get, but we are all in this together! *Cue High School Musical song*.
Being an ally means that you support this crazy idea of equal rights, and that is so important so keep on spreading that awesomeness around!
06. Don’t forget!
- Kindness is key
- Everyone has the right to a good name
- Be that awesome undercover spy
- Think before you speak
- Listen to ‘Together’ by High School Musical
- Look to Batman and Robin for inspiration
If you know someone who would like to be an ally, or would like to know more about how to support LGBTQ people, send them a link to this article!