5 Ways To Support The LGBTQ+ Community As An Ally

Although June may be Pride Month, it doesn't mean that every other month, week, or day of the year isn't a time to celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community. Pride isn't just about celebrating how far the LGBTQ+ community has come in its fight for equality; it's also a time to protest for more rights, as noted by Psychology Today.

While some of us may be lucky enough to live in liberal countries or even liberal states within the U.S. where members of the LGBTQ+ community can feel safe and accepted, discrimination is still rampant in many parts of the world. That's why it's so important to be an ally. In fact, being an ally is one of the most important things you can do because it shows you're against intolerance and discrimination everywhere from the workplace to social settings (via the National Institutes of Health). It's about being an advocate for a group of people who for far too long had to keep their true selves a secret — and, in some places, they still do. It doesn't even matter if you don't know anyone personally who's a member of the LGBTQ+ community; you can still be an ally and advocate for what's right: accepting love in all its forms.

Educate yourself

One of the first steps to becoming an ally is educating yourself. No, this doesn't mean memorizing the names of every LGBTQ+ member in your city or listening to Lil Nas X on repeat but rather acquainting yourself with important historical events that were game changers when it came to the gay rights movement. For example, the Stonewall riots that took place on June 28, 1969, are something you should know (via History). Having had enough harassment from the police, the patrons at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village rose up and protested for six days — it's considered a major turning point in the movement.

There's also the Obergefell v. Hodges case that, on June 26, 2015, resulted in the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S. (via USA Today). These types of groundbreaking moments, as well as having an understanding of correct terminology, like nonbinary versus cisgender, are extremely important assets when it comes to being an ally. 

Use appropriate pronouns

Being an ally means understanding identity and that, despite how someone appears, their pronouns are not a given (via HRC). Even if you're cisgender and don't really "get" the whole pronoun concept, understanding the importance of them to those in the LGBTQ+ community is essential in validating one's existence. 

Using the right pronouns is a matter of respect and letting people know they're being seen. While you may make a mistake once or twice — because we're only human, after all — don't make a big deal about it. Instead, genuinely apologize, stay away from petty excuses, move forward, and don't make it about you (via Harvard Health Publishing). Dragging out your mistake can make things awkward for everyone, and that's the last thing you want to do. And, when you can and it doesn't come off as scripted, offer your pronouns, too, so people know that you realize the importance of words and the words they have chosen to define themselves.

Never make assumptions

We're fortunate to live in a time where more people are coming out and being who they really are. It's colorful, it's exciting, and it's truly beautiful. But with this comes something very important to keep in mind: never assume someone's gender identity or sexuality (via Healthline). "Assuming someone's gender or sexuality based on someone's appearance is rooted in outdated stereotypes," GLADD ambassador Syd Stephenson tells Elite Daily. "When it comes to sexuality, assuming someone's identity is also very harmful as it reinforces stereotypes about lesbian, gay, asexual, bisexual, and pansexual people that can lead to violence."

Just because someone looks like a man based on what society has told us a man looks like, doesn't automatically mean they are a man — and the same can be said for everyone else. We never really know, so assuming is simply wrong. It doesn't matter what someone looks like on the outside; gender and sexuality have everything to do with the brain and not the body.

Use your voice

There are so many ways that you can use your voice as an ally. From shutting down blatant discrimination to pointing out the harm in telling crass LGBTQ+ jokes to showing up to protests to contacting politicians about policies that negatively affect the community, there's a long list of ways that you can get your voice heard (via CNN).

"Recognize that you're not responsible for building the system. But you are responsible for what you do with that knowledge, how you move on from there, and what you do with your privilege," licensed therapist Amelia Yankey tells Oprah Daily. If you have privilege on your side, then it's your obligation to vocalize that privilege for positive change. Even if you feel like you're not really getting anywhere sometimes — and don't we all — remember that every little bit you do matters when groups like the LGBTQ+ community continue to be marginalized.


One of the most important parts of being an ally is listening (via GLADD). Even those of us who have oodles of friends and family members in the LGBTQ+ community still have so much to learn. You'll never really understand what it means to be gay, transgender, or nonbinary if you don't take the time to listen — and do so with an open mind.

Your friends and family members in the LGBTQ+ community face challenges every day that you never will (via Stonewall U.K.). So, listening to those challenges, taking to heart how much they affect them, and showing up for them when they need it is one of the best things you can do — and it's not difficult to listen to someone you care about and love!

Not unlike the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, there appears to be a rolling back on social justices in the U.S. that we once thought were fully protected. What the future holds for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community is still yet to be seen. So, now more than ever before in recent history, it's time to not just be an ally but also step up our allyship for a community that deserves all the love and respect in the world. They need to know we have their back no matter what.