How To Be An Ally When It’s Not Spirit Day

Hello, I’m Selena and I’m straight.   I know the world looks different to people who aren’t, and I can’t begin to understand.  I can listen, I can be aware of my own words and actions and I can try to be an ally.   It’s easy to be an ally today with a few clicks and color changes, but how can we be good allies when it isn’t as simple as a little armchair activism?  We turned to GLAAD and Give A Damn for help and advice.

GLAAD and Give A Damn both have lots of resources for current and future allies.  I was especially moved by the following videos from GLAAD on how to be a good ally, including one that aired on The N and was aimed at tweens and teens.

And these two for older audiences

The GLAAD site also lists the following 10 Ways to be an Ally and a Friend:

  1. Be a listener.
  2. Be open-minded.
  3. Be willing to talk.
  4. Be inclusive and invite LGBT friends to hang out with your friends and family.
  5. Don’t assume that all your friends and co-workers are straight. Someone close to you could be looking for support in their coming-out process. Not making assumptions will give them the space they need.
  6. Homophobic comments and jokes are harmful. Let your friends, family and co-workers know that you find them offensive.
  7. Confront your own prejudices and homophobia, even if it is uncomfortable to do so.
  8. Defend your LGBT friends against discrimination.
  9. Believe that all people, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation, should be treated with dignity and respect.
  10. If you see LGBT people being misrepresented in the media, contact us at glaad.org.

Give A Damn put together a great series of videos, as well, including these two PSAs:

For more information, please visit:

Bisexual Resource Center
http://www.biresource.org/

Family Pride: Equality for LGBT Parents and Their Families
http://www.familypride.org/

Freedom to Marry
http://www.freedomtomarry.org/

Marriage Equality Information Resource Center
http://www.thetaskforce.org/issues/marriage_and_partnership_recognition

National Center for Transgender Equality
http://www.nctequality.org/

Service Members Legal Defense Network
http://www.sldn.org/templates/index.html

Teen Suicide Helpline for Gay & Questioning Teens
Toll free helpline: 866-488-7386
http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

Terminology: Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Glossary of Terms
GLAAD Media Reference Guide – Glossary of Terms

Terminology: Transgender Glossary of Terms
http://glaad.org/media/guide/transfocus.php

Transgender Issues in the Workplace
http://nmmstream.net/hrc/downloads/publications/tgtool.pdf

TransProud: For Parents of Transgender Children
http://www.transproud.com/parents.html

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[E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

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