The month of June may be the start of summer, but it's also the month of LGBTQA Pride! It's the month to recognize the impact the LGBTQA community has had on the world. It's a month of celebrating who you are and what you're made of. It's a month full of people proudly being themselves through events such as pride parades. And most of all, it's a month of being supportive to the community in any way you can be, and it doesn't have to stop when June ends.
An important part of the LGBTQA community is the support of friends, family, co-workers, and more. Whether you've recently found out a friend or family member is part of this community, or you're simply looking for a way to show your support to those you know already, consider some of these tips to really help show your support to those who may need it.
1. Be a supportive ally
Simply be supportive of your friends, family, co-workers, whoever. Don't go around saying that they're in a phase and things may change, support who they are and don't look down on them for being who they are. A little bit of support can go a long way, especially to those who may not be able to come out at their home or job.
2. Feel free to ask questions, but not, "Why are you...?"
It's perfectly OK to ask questions if you don't understand. Knowledge is power and pretty much anyone in the community will be willing to answer any questions you may have about the community, what it's like to be LGBTQA, terms, and much more. But, avoid stupid questions. It's OK to ask about what the A or Q may stand for in LGBTQA, or what you can do to be supportive to a friend who is trans, but it's never OK to ask, "Why are you gay?" or "What made you trans?" and such questions like this. It's frankly just rude.
3. Understand terms
There are a lot of terms that are around now to help people find a label that works the best for them. From transgender to asexual, gender-fluid to non-binary, there are a lot of terms that can be used to describe someone in the LGBTQA community. It's important to understand these terms, especially if your friend or family member identifies as a term you don't understand completely. This is one step that's actually super supportive, even if it seems small. Check out here for more.
4. Understand the T in LGBTQA
It's one thing to be supportive of those who identify as gay, lesbian, and bisexual, but it's important to remember the T is LGBTQA. The transgender community is a huge part of the LGBTQA community, and it's important to understand that instead of expelling them. There are a lot of those who believe you can support the rest of this community and exclude those who are trans, and this just isn't true. Those who are Trans deserve the same amount of respect and support, you can't simply ignore a letter and a whole group of people.
5. Stand up against anti-LGBTQA actions, companies, and laws
From laws to the actions of others to companies that donate to causes that are anti-LGBTQA, there are many things you can do to make your voice heard and support the LGBTQA community. If you see any kind of mockery at the workplace or school, stand up for them. If you see someone trying to pass an anti-LGBTQA law, consider going to a rally or protest, write and call your legislators, if you can do anything to help, do it. And consider boycotting companies who donate to anti-LGBTQA causes, which you can find here and here, other than Chick-Fil-A.
6. Consider donating to pro-LGBTQA causes or youth
In Opposition to avoiding anti-LGBTQA companies, consider donating to those who support the LGBTQA community. You can find some here and here. Take time to support and donate to safe havens, LGBTQA youth programs, and even consider sharing their stories. There's a lot you can do to support youth and others, just do a little research in your area.
7. Avoid using slang
It's 2019, it's time to stop using gay as an insult. There's plenty of slang words you need to stop using and instead start respecting the community instead. Check out here for some more terms and don't forget to educate yourself. Education is the best way to be supportive, that's the first step of avoiding slang.
8. Support LGBTQA youth
Please! The most supportive thing a child needs is SUPPORT. If your child or sibling or anyone else comes out as being apart of the LGBTQA community, support them. Be a role model, ask them what you can do to support them, use any names and pronouns they prefer, and don't make them feel ashamed of themselves. Check out here for more things you can do.
9. Ask around what you can do
Ask what you can do. Educate yourself by asking around your town and within your friends on what you can do to help. There's always something more you can do just by asking. Ask what pronouns you can use, ask someone questions about how you can help, ask about where to donate, and truly take in any answers. The best way to support is to simply ask what you can do and do it.