The recent administration has left trans people upset and fighting for their exsistence as the administration has failed to stick up for their rights as a person.
Here are 5 ways you can be a better ally to your friends who may identify as queer, like myself.
Ask their pronouns.
This may seem odd, but asking them which pronouns they prefer shows genuine respect that you value them as an individual. But don’t stop there, once they give you which pronouns they use, be sure to use them when talking to them/referring to them.
Never Out Them.
Never ever out people. It’s not fair to give their story without their permission when, considering they are able and the mode of communication is the same, they should be able to choose when this happens. Don’t out people in general, per say. Be sure to have a conversation with people about where they prefer which pronouns (in closed settings vs. in public, in front of parents, etc). You may be putting your friends’ lives in danger.
Be a friend.
Be supportive. If they need help, as long as you’re comfortable, do your best to help them. This does not mean that you call the shots, it merely means that you’re there as an aid, asking them for what they need you to do. If you have privilidge (ex. cisgender privilidge, walking into a bathroom that they identify with, as well as you, to make sure they are safe when in public can be really, really helpful (coming from personal expereience. However, if they don’t want this to happen, it doesn’t need to happen, plain and simple.)
Educating yourself on the LGBTQ+ community will show how much you care, as well as give you more information into someone else’s identity. This doesn’t excuse you if you identify within the LGBTQ+ community, as different identities throw shade unto others very often, all because of personal prejudice and stereotypes. Educating yourself gives you the power to see multiple different perspectives, use your knowledge to be a better ally, and pass on various resources you’ve discovered for others to utilize as well.
Make a few calls.
Making calls to your local legislator will make all the difference. Not just a call to see what they had for lunch, but a strategic and logical complaint about how the local government is putting your friends’ lives in danger will make all the difference. If you are cisgender and heterosexual, your voice can have a large impact. Allys are the best, the support you give means galaxies to me, at least).
Gender Inclusive Bathroom Locations.
If you’re travelling to a new place and your friend hasn’t been there before, say, you’re surprising them with a vacation to Miami, mapping out the vacation where there are gender inclusive bathrooms (or at least knowing where the closest ones are) can make all the different. Knowing where gender inclusive bathrooms are in general make a large difference.
Being queer isn’t the easiest at times, but these five tips, as a friend in general can have the biggest effect on your friends. It can have the biggest effect on you, as well. Which I think is beautiful, considering as we learn and grow in the world, anything is possible, including being a better friend. Love one another, share these tips, and normalize the respect we should all be giving. Being a friend isn’t just a title, it’s how we live. I’m not my identity, I’m my own person. And once we’ve deconstructed that, we’ve deconstructed hate.
Photo Credit: Good Free Photos