It's no secret - being a member of the LGBTQ+ community is absolutely amazing! What's also amazing? Being an ally!
Standing up for others and advocating for equality is the best that anyone can do with their voice. Being an ally to a friend in the LGBTQ+ community shows support and consideration. So, what are some ways to be a better ally? Pride Palace has got you covered with 5 tips on how to be not only a great ally in general, but also how to be a great Transgender ally. Keep reading to find out more from Pride Palace’s brand new lesson: Transgender Ally 101!
1) State your pronouns!
Pronouns are the words used to refer to someone without using their actual name. It’s becoming more and more common for people to introduce themselves with their pronouns. Even if you think people already know your pronouns, why not state them? Stating your pronouns after your name in any situation - professional, casual, social, etc. - will create a more inclusive and safe environment for all. The more we normalize sharing pronouns, the less pressure there will be on our trans friends. In addition, by stating our pronouns, we avoid unintentional misgendering. If you want to find out more about pronouns, check out this Pride Palace blog!
2) Never assume. Ever.
This may seem obvious, but sometimes it is easy to assume things instead of asking. No, you cannot tell if someone is transgender just by looking (nor should you want or try to). Do not make assumptions about a transgender person’s sexual orientation, or about them in general. Let people tell you what they feel comfortable sharing. Part of being a great ally is knowing how to listen, and that includes never assuming.
3) Don’t ask a transgender person what their “real” name is.
Hopefully this seems obvious as well, but it happens. Their “real” name is the name they just told you. Think twice before asking a question. “Could this be offensive?” If the answer is yes - don’t ask. For a lot of transgender people, their previous names (often referred to as their “dead name”) are something in the past they do not wish to relive or speak of. In other words, respect their right to privacy!
4) Be careful with any disclosure.
After a friend discloses their story with you, you might be feeling so proud or honored that you may want to share with others. Please refrain from doing this. Some transgender people feel comfortable sharing their journeys, while others may not. Always keep in mind that sharing the identity of a transgender or nonbinary person could generate discomfort if they haven’t come out to others. Disclosing could even go as far as compromising their safety depending on the situation. To be safe - do not disclose any information that isn’t yours to disclose!
5) Be supportive!
This is perhaps the most cliché piece of advice, but it’s that for a reason. Nothing in this world comes close to the feeling of knowing you are supported by your family and/or friends. Your friend in the LGBTQ+ community may already know that you’re their ally, but never stop reminding them. In fact, never stop reminding yourself! The LGBTQ+ community needs everyone’s support, and that includes you.
One great way to show support and show allyship is by having an ally flag. And you guessed it - Pride Palace has got you covered! You can show your support to the LGBTQ+ community with our highly demanded Ally Flag!
Final thoughts: We hope that these tips can make you a better ally not only to your trans friends, but to anyone in the LGBTQ+ community. You don’t have to be part of the LGBTQ+ community to support basic human rights. The role of LGBTQ+ allies is an important one, as they help spread the message of love and understanding to everyone. Way to go, allies!