If you haven’t come out as being LGBTQ, are straight or don’t fit in any of the categories, you can still show your support for the community. You may already have a positive disposition toward them and consider many of them friends, but your words can only go so far. These are some concrete things that you can do to provide some much-needed support for the LBGTQ community.
Find a Charity
Many LGBTQ people struggle with getting fair access to housing and quality healthcare. A perfectly just world would eliminate the need for charities, but under the current circumstances, they’re essential. Go online and look over as many charities as you can, and decide on any you’d like to give to, such as the National LGBT Cancer Network. Even if you don’t have much to give, don’t worry about your donation being too small; every dollar counts.
Find Work Where You’re Needed
Certain situations that don’t cause any duress for other people can be hellish for those in the LGBTQ community. For transgender people, going to the doctor can be very uncomfortable since they don’t know if they’ll be accepted for who they are. If you’ve been trying to figure out your career and know you want to help people, look into healthcare degrees online. Some healthcare degrees can be gotten online in only a couple of years, allowing you to enter the field relatively quickly. Even though you know you’re an ally, you should still understand that some people are cautious due to previous experiences with medical professionals that have gone poorly. Let them deal with things at their own pace, and do everything in your power to listen to them.
How you act when your LGBTQ friends aren’t around says a lot more than how you act when they are around. If someone is speaking in an ignorant or bigoted fashion about LGBTQ people, you need to speak up. It might be uncomfortable to call people out, but think of how your friends would feel if you just let it pass. Responding in a polite-yet-firm way when someone says something ignorant can provide a wake-up call for that person and potentially help expand their awareness.
Meet Different People
The LGBTQ community includes different people with different sorts of experiences. It spans different races, gender identities and nationalities. You can’t expect to speak to one gay or transgender person and have a total understanding of all of them. If you really want to consider yourself as an ally, you have to talk to many different people as often as possible. Your education will always be going on, and that’s what makes it such an important thing.
The LGBTQ community is full of strong people, but it can only become stronger with consistent and attentive allies. Even if you’re heterosexual or not sure where your place on the sexuality or gender spectrum is quite yet, you can still show this community how much you care. Give it your all and embrace every opportunity you have to learn.
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