What you should know as an Ally?
As you continue to develop and improve your understanding and awareness about sexual and gender identities, it is important to spend time assessing and reflecting on your progress as an Ally. Below are basic levels of becoming an Ally and several things to consider when working with LGBTQI persons.
Being an Ally
In today’s world, LGBTQI issues are frequently discussed; however, they can still seem frightening or confusing. For instance, some of these issues may be addressed at home, where the conversation can become intense and emotional. While becoming an ally is an important step toward overcoming fears and confusion, it will be a challenge.
The following guidelines are meant to assist you as you begin your role as an ally.
- Do not assume heterosexuality.
- Use gender neutral language.
- Educate yourself.
- Explore ways to integrate LGBTQI issues in your work.
- Challenge stereotypes.
- Examine how sexual orientation effects people’s lives and development.
- Avoid using heterosexist language.
- Respect how people choose to name themselves.
- Avoid patronizing individuals from different groups.
- Encourage and allow disagreement.
- Remember you are human.
- Prepare for the change.
- Speak up.
Guidelines for Referring a LGBTQIA Person to a Counselor
Some of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning people you will encounter are seeking support, advice or information. Occasionally, you may have a person who is experiencing psychological distress. This may be evident in the following contexts: