LGBTQIA+ is meant to include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual people—and more.
That encompasses a lot of folks but, at the same time, leaves plenty of room for allies. An LGBTQIA+ ally is someone who does not fit into the categories listed above but still stands strong in support of those who do.
In a culture that can be judgmental, cruel, or worse to those outside the “mainstream,” the existence of dedicated allies is crucial. It constitutes a giant step toward reducing stigmas and bias. But what does it really mean to be an LGBTQIA+ ally?
Some of the Attributes of an LGBTQIA+ Ally
In a way, LGBTQIA+ allies also “come out” to the world. Such an ally is not quiet or secretive about their status. They openly let others know where they stand on LGBTQIA+ people and issues. Allies do so not just to be supportive. They legitimately view being an ally as beneficial to themselves, too. And this goes for supporting all oppressed groups of humans.
An LGBTQIA+ Ally:
- Continually does the work to understand LGBTQIA+ issues and how they develop. When they make mistakes—as everyone does—they learn from them.
- Finds the best ways to confront and challenge oppression based on their personal resources and gifts. They do so without resorting to threats or violence.
- Willingly accepts that their position as an LGBTQIA+ ally may lead to harassment and confrontation. It is simply the price to be paid for living by one’s beliefs.
- Doesn’t speak over or try to speak for folks in the LGBTQIA+ community.
- Is given the opportunity to connect with and learn from new friends.
- Gains a deeper comprehension of gender roles, stereotypes, etc.
- Can positively impact the lives of people who far too often face discrimination and prejudice.
- Inspires others to learn more and become LGBTQIA+ allies.
A Few Steps You Can Take
Following up on the above list, here are just some of the natural ways to achieve ally status:
- Develop self-awareness: A giant step toward being an ally to any oppressed group is to heighten awareness of who you are in the world. This perspective enhances your ability to find your place when interacting with those who face oppression on a daily or even hourly basis.
- Never stop learning: This should go for all aspects of life! When talking specifically about being an LGBTQIA+ ally, it’s a commitment to keeping up on issues, policies, laws, and breaking news.
- Doing outreach: An LGBTQIA+ ally doesn’t just show it when around LGBTQIA+ folks. They also do outreach amongst the other groups of people with whom they interact. Encouraging others to learn and be open can be a game-changer.
- Taking action when necessary: Do not pass up any opportunity to protect someone, teach someone, or help someone. It is never about personal gain—although you will feel great about doing the right thing. Taking action is an expression of your internal values.
- Connect with LGBTQIA+ people: This is the foundation. You can talk or theorize all day, but nothing replaces direct communication with those who are living the life. There is so much nuance and richness to experience in this world. It often begins by connecting with a diverse range of people.
There is no singular way to be a good person. They do not hand out how-to manuals. In many cases, as in becoming an LGBTQIA+ ally, there is plenty of trial and error. Many people opt to discuss such journeys with a therapist. Your weekly sessions can help you clarify your values and beliefs. From there, you can take steps to live a more authentic life.
Begin Working With Columbus Ohio Therapists
You deserve a safe, understanding place to discuss the unique experiences of the LGBTQIA+ community. Our team of caring therapists would be honored to support you from our Columbus, OH-based therapy practice. You can start your therapy journey with Blue Boat Counseling by following these simple steps:
- Contact Blue Boat Counseling by using the button below
- Meet with a caring therapist
- Begin receiving the treatment you deserve!
Other Services Offered with Blue Boat Counseling
Our team knows that you may be dealing with a variety of mental health concerns in addition to LGBTQIA+ issues. This is why we are happy to offer mental health services including anxiety therapy, depression therapy, and military veteran therapy. We are also happy to offer teen and family therapy and online therapy across the state of Ohio. Visit our blog to learn more today for helpful info.