How to Be a Consistent Ally to LGBTIQA+ Communities

love is love

According to Absolut’s Make Love Louder report, three in four LGBTIQA+ Australians have personally experienced negativity or discrimination relating to their LGBTIQA+ status. 

Although generally, Australia is moving towards becoming a more progressive society, with the majority of Australians supporting the LGBTIQA+ community, the report finds many consider themselves to be “silent supporters”. Unfortunately, this means that the loudest voices often come from the negative minority of non-supporters, and can lead to unnecessary ugliness.

Even though I myself identify within the queer community, I am certainly guilty of being a silent supporter. It can be difficult to know how to stand up against discrimination in moments of vulnerability.

But it’s time to be loud.

The report finds 67% of LGBTIQA+ Australians say that fear of discrimination has caused them to change their daily activities. That can simply mean the way they dress, the way they walk, talk, gesture, where they work, where they hang out, what kind of food and drinks they consume, their social media presence… 

We live in a world right now where we understand the importance of loving who we are, and not just for ourselves, but for everyone else. The world is a better place with love, so let’s learn to love out loud, together.

Here are some simple ways to show your ongoing love for the LGBTIQA+ community, whether you’re a part of it or not.

Use respectful language about the LGBTIQA+ community

Language has always been important, but now more than ever. The use of correct pronouns is a simple way to show someone that you respect who they are and how they identify. 

The different pronouns are she/her, they/them, he/him or a combo of any of the above. They/them is the pronoun for anyone who identifies as non-binary (neither male, nor female). This can take some getting used to, especially if you’re unfamiliar with such pronouns, but no one expects you to just know someone else’s pronouns without asking. Asking is always the best protocol. 

“Language is soooooo sooooo important!” Sydney’s renowned Drag Queen and DJ Timberlina tells The Latch. 

“When it comes to pronouns, you can simply introduce yourself. For example, ‘Hi I’m Timberlina and my pronouns are she/her’, and hopefully most people will respond with their pronouns or you can take the opportunity to teach them about pronouns. If you are unsure, please ask. Never assume.”

Help LGBTIQA+ people and perspectives to be seen and heard

Share stories and educate people through having an open dialogue always. We’re lucky that we have so many platforms to share uncensored stories and learn from others. If you see something, share it. If you hear something disrespectful being said, call it out.

There are so many amazing members of the LGBTIQA+ that are total allies, standing up for themselves and their community, telling stories and sharing their talents with the world. If you’re too shy to be vocal, simply hero them and share them as widely as you can. 

Support LGBTQIA+ charities

The pandemic has left LGBTIQA+ people outside our major cities particularly impacted, cut off from their community,” Timerlina shares. “Just by taking the spirit of Mardi Gras home with an Absolut rainbow, $5 of your spend will be donated to a range of grassroots LGBTIQA+ charities in regional and rural Australia, to help take the spirit of Pride further!”

You can make a difference by volunteering your time as an LGBTIQA+ support worker at queer space or keep up with events and rallies to show your physical support.

Listen to LGBTIQA+ people 

Just listening is one of the most powerful tools. Not only does it teach you invaluable lessons, but it also validates other people’s experiences and makes them feel heard – which is a pretty special thing.

Timberlina shares this view. “Sitting back in a conversation, you learn so much. You can always ask for clarification if you need more information or if you don’t feel comfortable. Sharing and learning is about growing together.”

Express support for LGBTIQA+ people on social media 

This is simple but effective. You don’t always have to shout it from the rooftops to show your love. Sometimes, liking something on Instagram, sharing a post on your story or even commenting with support and positivity is all it takes. 

Ways we can better use our own social media platforms are also simple; have your pronouns in your about section, use correct language, and stand up for anti behaviour.

Things you can do right now:

Buy yourself a bottle of Absolut Rainbow, and $5 will be donated to a range of grassroots LGBTIQA+ charities in regional and rural Australia

Sign up to be a support worker at queer space or if you’re located elsewhere, you can always do virtual support or find a support space near you

Attend Mardi Gras this weekend!

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