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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

How to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community

By Isabelle Ortiz | Staff Writer

RAINBOW OF PRIDE LGBTQ+ members and their allies celebrate together during New York City’s annual Pride Parade in 2019.

June is national LGBTQ+ Pride Month. It’s also a great time to become an ally to this diverse and inclusive community.
LGBTQ+ is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer, the latter term being an umbrella phrase for various genders and sexual orientations. However, one does not have to fall under one of these categories in order to be an ally that participates in events and helps support the rights of colleagues, friends, neighbors and family members.
Allies can show different types of support, but sometimes it’s difficult to know what is helpful and what isn’t. So here are some tips:
One thing to try is, instead of using phrases like “ladies and gentlemen,” use more general terms like “hello everyone” or, like my eighth grade English teacher used to say in an exaggerated southern accent, “Hey, y’all!”
Simple changes like this iare inclusive of everyone. Some teachers at Gabrielino use nicknames, such as Mrs. Cruz, who addresses her freshmen as “Eagles,” or Mx. Ross, who calls their students “friends.” When addressing groups of people, try to use general terms like these.
Along with learning our vocabulary, it is important for incoming allies to learn about our history, goals, intentions, and the meanings behind the 20+ flags we have. It is not frowned upon to be uneducated on LGBTQ+ topics, but taking some time to learn shows an authentic intention to learn and support the community.
When becoming an ally, it is also important to ask, not assume. Trust me, we do not get offended when asked about our pronouns. We actually find it comforting that someone cares enough to ask, and the majority of us will gladly tell you.
Keeping up to date with the latest LGBTQ+ related news is important, too. Know when and where pride events are occurring. Show support for the community by attending one. Also, be sensitive to negative events that are happenign in the world, like restrictive laws being passed or violent actions that affect the LGBTQ+ community.
If an ally sees or hears someone using derrogatory phrases towards an LGBTQ+ member, they should say something. It is important for allies to speak up if phrases like “that’s so gay” or “why are you acting gay?” are used. Words like these are hurtful and should not be used with harmful intent. And, it goes without saying that blatent slurs should never be tolerated.
Being an ally, like being in the LGBTQ+ community, means being accepting and respectful of all people. According to a junior at Gabrielino High School who asked to remain anonymous, being an ally means being “kind […] Even if [people] don’t agree with who you are, they should still be respectful towards you.”
Take advantage of the many resources for allies in bookstores and online. Some standouts include: “Being an Ally to LGBT People|Youth Engaged 4 Change,” “10 Ways to be an Ally and a Friend|GLAAD,” and the Youtube video, “How to be an LGBTQ Ally-KHOU 11.”
Donations to “The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation,” which helps LGBTQ+ and people of color gain equality, are also always appreciated.

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How to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community