June marks Pride Month, and at Snowplow we’ve been discussing what we think can make someone a better ally. But first…
What is an ally?
We’ve defined an ally as a person who supports the LGBTQIA+ community with an open mind and approaches the topic with respect and curiosity. We don’t think an ally has to actively participate in pride activities, but we do think they should do their best to show solidarity by being an open and honest friend to the community and to help stop discrimination.
How to be a better ally
- Normalise the use of pronouns in both work and personal life by adding them to email signatures and social media profiles. Remember that the word “preferred” should not prefix the word “pronouns“. These are not a persons preferred pronouns, these are a persons pronouns.
- Create an LGBTQIA+ and ally community. At Snowplow, we have a Slack channel called #queer-snowpals-and-allies where we discuss all things LGBTQIA+. In fact, this is where we came up with this very blog post!
- Know when it is your place to speak. If you are not a part of the LGBTQIA+ community yourself, you do not have the same experiences as those who are. Your thoughts and opinions are extremely valuable, but you also need to know when it is the right time to speak.
- Know what you can and cannot say and call people out when they’re misusing words. It’s not okay to describe something you don’t like as “gay“. If you hear somebody saying “Oh, that’s so gay“, you should speak up. Here’s an article we found addressing words and phrases that you may be using that are not LGBTQIA+ friendly.
- Educate yourself. Educate yourself about the challenges and inequalities that LGBTQIA+ people face in society and use that knowledge to change the status quo.
- Come for the party and stay for the protest. This is a quote that came from Brighton Pride a few years ago and it essentially means that while you can join in with the festivities, you also need to be there to support the community when they need you most.
Let us know if you agree with our list and how you think we could all be better allies.
…and remember: Pride is for life, not just for June!