Happy Pride Month! We know June is halfway over, but we also believe allyship is a year-round practice. This year, we excitedly celebrate the triumphs of the LGBTQ+ community while simultaneously acknowledging the long road ahead to true equality and acceptance. We know it can be overwhelming to navigate how to be an effective ally, so we put together a list of 5 ways you can start practicing allyship right now:
One of the greatest ways to be an ally is to spend time educating yourself on the community, movement, and the history behind it. The internet has no shortage of resources including reading lists, movie and documentary suggestions, organizations and events you can join, and much more! We highly recommend watching The Death and Life Of Marsha P. Johnson.
Hold the leadership at your work accountable to creating equal opportunities for LGBTQ+ employees and ensuring they’re well represented throughout the organization. From the hiring process to promotions to positions in leadership, they should be present and have a real voice. Some ways you can be an ally at work include:
❂ Starting an LGBTQ+ Ally ERG - this could focus on educating other team members and actively seeking out opportunities to uplift your LGBTQ+ colleagues.
❂ Speak Up - If you see a lack of LGBTQ+ representation on teams or in leadership positions, call it out, and ask your leadership what steps they’re taking to address those gaps.
❂ Create a Safe Space - this could be a community at work where LGBTQ+ colleagues can share their experiences and discuss ideas for making the workspace more inclusive.
One of the loudest ways you can speak is through your spending. By choosing to support LGBTQ+ businesses and inclusive brands, you can wind up encouraging change in others. We recommend researching businesses and brands local to your area and supporting them!
Remember to keep an eye out for rainbow washing (i.e. brands who add rainbows to their logos and products during Pride month, but do not actually support the LGBTQ+ community).
Some of this San Francisco based author’s favorite LGBTQ+ owned businesses include:
❂ Brenda’s Meat & Three - Absolutely amazing Southern comfort food!
❂ Hot Cookie - Delicious bakery famous for their erotic baked goods
❂ Ampersand - Charming flower shop and design studio
Help LGBTQ+ authors, artists, and creatives thrive by directly supporting their work, then take a step further by sharing it on your social media networks. If you’re looking for a fun read, We Are Never Meeting In Real Life by Samantha Irby is fantastic. Her essays are hilarious, well-written, raunchy, and unfiltered.
We wholeheartedly believe allyship is a continual process. There’s always more to learn and areas where we can improve. It’s in how we show up for our LGBTQ+ friends and community, the companies we support, the music we listen to, how we confront homophobia and transphobia--it’s how we live our lives with purpose each and every day to make this world a more inclusive, safe, and beautiful place.