How To Be a Good Ally to Your LGBTQIA+ Friends.

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Over the last few years, a lot of my friends have made active efforts to be allies and be supportive. Yet, there were times I felt awkward and if I’m being honest, tokenized by some of them. It wasn’t until I was talking to one of my other queer friends about these feelings that I realized that a lot of the allies were falling short in some places. While a lot of the straight allies I knew were trying very hard to be supportive, they were oblivious to how problematic and hurtful they could be. Being an ally is all about learning and calling yourself out for those moments of ignorance or problematic ways of thinking.

That’s why when I started writing and article on how to be a good ally I realized what I really wanted to write about was how to be a good ally to your queer and trans friends. So I decided to focus on what I appreciate in the ally’s in my life and the things that have made me feel uncomfortable or frustrated even.

  1. Be gentle in your support. There is no need to be over the top about how supportive you are just to prove a point that you are supportive. Being over the top can feel like you’re putting on a show instead of being a friend. Gentle and soft acts of support are enough. For instance, my mom sometimes when we go out shopping and she see’s things with rainbows on them she smiles and looks at me. For me that act of support is great.

Obviously there aren’t any hard and fast ways to be a better ally to your friends, but these 10 things are good to keep in mind. Really what this whole article is about is being aware of your privilege as a cis/straight person and putting in the work to learn. Both being a friend and ally require that you listen to the people around you and what they need. And sometimes, what us queer folk want is for you to do the work to be educated and patient when you do get called out.

I’m a Brown student pursing a BA in literary arts and on my way to an MFA in creative writing. I write and read about love, identity, and womanhood.

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