Wrapping up Pride Month shouldn’t be the end of our love and support for our friends and family in the Queer Community. Here are five simple habits that I’ve found to be effective and respectful ways to be a friend and ally.
- Know that all fellow human beings are worthy of dignity and respect. Wow, that’s an easy one, right?
- Don’t assume that everyone you know or meet is straight, cisgendered, or even binary. Instead of asking someone who presents themselves as masculine, “do you have a girlfriend/wife?” instead ask, “do you have a partner/are you in a relationship?” in order to let them feel comfortable filling in the blanks for you if they so choose.
- When meeting new people, be the first to share your “preferred pronouns.” For example, “Hi, my name is Micki. I prefer/my pronouns are she/her/hers.” This is a very simple but clear way to let your new acquaintance know that you aren’t making assumptions about their personal gender preferences.
- Don’t be afraid to let people know that anti-LGBTQ comments or jokes are not acceptable in your presence. Standing up for outliers, including the queer community, is always a good thing. My go-to line is, “Wow, that’s a really hurtful thing to say about another human being.” Most of the time, the offender actually apologizes.
- Never be afraid to ask, “What can I do to support you?”