Introduction: Transgender and LGBT+ people are individuals who identify with a different gender or sexual orientation than the one assigned to them at birth. They contribute to society in various ways but also face discrimination, violence, and stigma due to their gender identity or sexual orientation. In this article, we’ll explore five key steps to being an ally to the trans and LGBT+ community, along with the role of National Gender Training in enhancing your allyship journey.
- Transgender and LGBT+ people face discrimination, violence, and stigma in many aspects of their lives.
- Allyship is the act of supporting and advocating for marginalized groups, such as the trans and LGBT+ community.
- Allies can promote inclusion, diversity, and respect by educating themselves, challenging prejudice, amplifying voices, creating safe spaces, and taking action.
- National Gender Training offers courses and workshops on transgender awareness, LGBTQIA+ awareness, and diversity management for professionals and organizations.
1. Educate Yourself
The first step to being an ally is to educate yourself about the issues and experiences of the trans and LGBT+ community. This means learning about their history, culture, identities, challenges, and achievements. Here are some educational resources:
- Transgender Awareness Week: Held every November, it raises awareness about the trans community and their issues.
- Pride Month: Celebrated every June, commemorating the Stonewall riots of 1969, a pivotal moment in LGBT+ rights history.
- Genderbread Person: A visual tool explaining gender identity, expression, biological sex, and sexual orientation.
- Transgender FAQ: A comprehensive guide by the National Center for Transgender Equality.
- LGBTQIA+ Glossary: A list of terms and definitions by Stonewall UK.
By educating yourself, you gain a better understanding of the trans and LGBT+ community and can challenge stereotypes and misinformation.
2. Challenge Prejudice
As an ally, you must confront prejudice whenever you encounter it. Prejudice can take many forms, including discrimination, hate speech, and microaggressions. To challenge prejudice:
- Interrupt: Politely but firmly interrupt prejudiced remarks or actions.
- Educate: Explain why such behavior is harmful and how it affects trans and LGBT+ people.
- Support: Offer assistance to those targeted by prejudice.
By addressing prejudice, you create a more inclusive environment for all.
3. Amplify Voices
To be an ally, amplify the voices of the trans and LGBT+ community:
- Follow: Engage with trans and LGBT+ activists, organizations, and influencers on social media.
- Share: Promote their content and recommend their work to friends, family, and colleagues.
- Donate: Support trans and LGBT+ causes and organizations through time, money, or resources.
By amplifying their voices, you help increase their visibility and influence in society.
4. Create Safe Spaces
Creating safe spaces is crucial for the well-being of the trans and LGBT+ community:
- Ask: Respect preferred names, pronouns, and labels.
- Display: Show support through symbols like rainbow flags.
- Organize: Host events and activities that celebrate or support the community.
By creating safe spaces, you make trans and LGBT+ individuals feel welcome and valued.
5. Take Action
Advocate for the rights and well-being of the trans and LGBT+ community:
- Vote: Support candidates who champion trans and LGBT+ rights.
- Lobby: Communicate with representatives to influence policies.
- Educate: Spread awareness about allyship and its importance.
Being an ally is a lifelong commitment that can make a significant impact on the lives of trans and LGBT+ people.
Allyship is rooted in love—for oneself, for others, for diversity, and for humanity. It requires continuous learning, courage, and compassion. Join us at National Gender Training to embark on your allyship journey. Together, we can create a more inclusive, diverse, and respectful society for everyone.