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How To Be An Ally To Your LGBTQIA+ Friends, Relatives And Co-Workers

Brainz Magazine strives for excellence in creating a positive culture and safeguarding diversity, equity, inclusion, dignity, and respect for all. We realize that a diverse team will benefit our users and our business by offering different perspectives and life experiences. We want our users, customers, employees, and partners to enjoy a welcoming and safe corporate culture.


The DEI panel is hand-picked and invited to contribute due to its knowledge and valuable insight in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The DEI panel will work for a better future and the goal is for everyone to be represented and for no minority to be left out.

 

1. Do your own homework & research

Pride Month is a time to celebrate the gains made by the LGBTQIA+ community – and to continue the fight for equality. Allies are critical to making workplaces safe, welcoming and inclusive for LGBTQIA+ people. 46 percent of LGBTQIA+ employees reported being closeted at work, according to a 2018 report by the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community. Many LGBTQIA+ people fear being fired, having to put up with homophobic and transphobic slurs, or feeling excluded.


How can you be an ally?

  • Adopt a Free-To-Be practice similar to the national SAFE ZONE concept in which freedom practices are created for your talent to bring their full selves to the workplace. By promoting a Free-To-Be practice, Allies show that they value the LGBTQIA+ community and their willingness to foster a safe place for others, and are committed to offer support, resources, and guidance.

  • Challenge your assumptions. Don’t make their journey about you because you need to categorize them in order to feel comfortable. Don’t assume anyone’s identity based on what you see on the surface or their gender expression. It’s crucial that we don’t ask people if they are in the LGBTQIA+ community. Let them share when they are ready. Again, don’t make their journey about you.

  • Allyship to the LGBTQIA+ community requires you to listen intently and use inclusive empathic language when building relationships in the workplace and beyond. Don’t allow your self-talk or personal perspective to be the only voice in the room.

  • Perfection is not the answer. If you make a mistake, see it as an opportunity to grow and evolve. Simply, correct yourself without being dismissive of its importance, without making excuses, & without making it a huge deal/over-apologizing/drawing attention to you. Politely (& subtly, if possible) correct others if they use the wrong pronoun or unconsciously exclude others. It helps to be explicit rather than wishing/hoping they pick it up.

  • Do your own homework & research. Don’t put the burden on individuals in the LGBTQIA+ community to make you a scholar. Educate yourself on the relevant topics that align to your organization's LGBTQIA+ initiatives. It’s your responsibility to increase your DEIB competencies.



2. Be at the forefront of calling out discriminatory acts - all year through

As we wrap up Pride month, let it not be the only time of the year where we declare our support for the LGBTQIA+ community.

I'm coming from a country where the LGBTQIA+ community is largely shunned and condemned, with lesbians only tolerated, when it's entertainment for the male gaze.

There is something I keep saying concerning all DEI efforts. Our best allies in accomplishing any of these goals is to make sure the majority are our biggest champions.


Being an LGBTQIA+ champion means:

  • Being at the forefront calling out discriminatory acts - all year through.

  • Not ignoring an act of violation just because it doesn't affect you. And doing this throughout the year.

  • Affirming your solidarity not only to the face of your LGBTQIA+ person but most importantly, to those who have a problem with it, and doing it all year round.

Being an ally does not mean turning into a crusader, something as simple as rationally vocalizing your opinion when such topics arise and standing your ground, will make a bigger difference at a social level.

And that's what being an ally means.


If it's a sin, we should all have our biggest ones permanently engraved on our foreheads for the whole world to judge.




3. Have self-awareness

Who are you being?


In every interaction, we create ourselves. I always say it begins at home which means begin with yourself. Who are you creating yourself as and allowing yourself to Be? Are you free to Be? If not, you will oppress others as you oppress yourself. What does that mean?


Below I am sharing three tips to be an ally to your LGBTQIA+ inner circles and beyond.


  • Self -awareness. Reflect on the judgment you assign yourself. You are most likely projecting your insecurities and fears onto others. Just as you have the opportunity to create yourself as a powerful soul you can shed judgment and do the same for others without categorizing.

  • Self-love. When you love yourself it ripples outward and reaches the hearts of others. You will desire for others what you desire for yourself unconditionally.

  • Self-trust. According to Psychologytoday.com, self trust is “It’s having the conviction that you will be kind and respectful to yourself regardless of the outcome of your efforts.”

- Cordelia Gaffar - World's Best Joy Monger


4. Be open-minded and ask questions

Being a good ally is taking the time to understand things you don’t know, ask questions and be a good listener. Show support when you can by utilizing hashtags, showing up at an event to support or sponsoring an event as well.


5. Actively support the community with words and deeds

I appreciate a good acronym. Following are four tips for being a good ally:

  1. Acting – actively support the community with words and deeds. One without the other fall short.

  2. Listening – listen for what support looks like for them and provide that. Your support illustrates you heard and acted accordingly.

  3. Learning – remain open to learning what you don't know. It's equivalent to understanding someone's love language and responding in kind.

  4. Yielding – invite them to the table, point the way, and hold the door. Access is everything.

- Dr Lisa T. Lewis, The Belief System (B.S.) Boss


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