Being a Good Ally Takes More than Good Intentions

by HRC Staff

Being an effective ally is about even more than your feelings, it’s about what you do with those feelings.

You’ve raised your hand as an ally of the LGBTQ community. It’s clear you believe strongly in LGBTQ equality. However, being an effective ally is about even more than your feelings; it’s about what you DO with those feelings.

Here are some helpful tips to deepen your impact through your actions:

  1. Be vocal & courageous: We live in a society where prejudice still exists and where discrimination is far too common. HRC polling has found that nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ Americans report experiencing discrimination. Challenges are magnified for those who also face racism, sexism, ableism and other forms of discrimination. Recognizing this fact, acknowledging your privilege and giving your support to people and families who face marginalization and discrimination, even when it’s difficult or awkward, helps build a more accepting world. Listen to your loved ones’ concerns and join them in speaking out, advocating for change … or just be there for them when they need a rock in their lives.
  2. Seek out businesses that support equality: Plenty of stores and restaurants have set themselves apart as welcoming and inclusive to all. Make a point to frequent them and tell them that you appreciate their commitment to equality. You can use HRC’s Corporate Equality Index as a guide.
  3. Make your support visible: Put a symbol like the HRC equal sign sticker in your office, home or vehicle to tell LGBTQ people in your community that you’ve got their backs. If you need a sticker, just text STICKER to 472472, and we’ll send you one!
  4. Don’t let an anti-LGBTQ joke slide: When people laugh at others and not with them, it is important to speak out. If someone makes an offensive joke about anyone in the LGBTQ community, don’t shrug it off; say you don’t appreciate “humor” that demeans LGBTQ people. This is a chance for you to educate others and put your beliefs into action.
  5. Show your support at the ballot box:  Laws affect lives. Voting for a politician who doesn’t support equality — even if they share your views on other issues — sends a message to your LGBTQ friends and family members that you are willing to accept discrimination against them.