What is an ally?
Anyone can be an ally
The ally is usually a non-LGBTQ + person who supports people of different sexual orientations, identities and gender expressions with the aim of contributing to their well-being or a greater acceptance of their realities. The ally can however also be LGBTQ + and support other communities (e.g. a lesbian ally of trans communities). A person may become an ally because they have a loved one who is LGBTQ +, or simply because the values of diversity, equality and human rights are close to their hearts.
What are people going to think?
In some settings, becoming an ally can lead a person to experience homophobia or transphobia by association. If this is your case, arm yourself with understanding and patience, then keep in mind the long-term benefits of asserting yourself as an ally. It is possible that the non-LGBTQ + people around you need time to open up to realities to which they were not aware. But little by little, the actions of the allies are bearing fruit and having a great impact on the lives of LGBTQ + people.
Why be an ally?
As a sexual and identity minority, LGBTQ + people often feel lonely when faced with homophobia and transphobia. Too often, witnesses to homophobic and transphobic words or acts do not dare to intervene. The ally.has an essential role, because its support aims to counter discrimination, prejudices and stereotypes in various circles. In addition, on a personal level, becoming an ally can be a rewarding experience.
As with any other form of discrimination, homophobia and transphobia should be spoken out whenever we see them.
When faced with homophobic / transphobic remarks or gestures, it is important to show your disagreement and ask for an end to discriminatory behavior. When this is impossible or the situation persists, it is then necessary to contact organizations which have the competence to intervene and put an end to this situation.
Responding to homophobia and transphobia is a personal, social and civic responsibility.
Did you know ?
A 2008 study at a university in the United States showed that 81% of LGBTQ + Q students said they were more likely to come out to a faculty member who had an ally sticker and 78 % said they were more comfortable in their classroom.
How to react
There are plenty of resources to learn more about LGBTQ + people. This site is one (for example, consult the pages of other themes, or the lexicon page). Being a good ally can be learned!
Confront your own opinions on LGBTQ + realities, take your own biases into account. Refrain from making assumptions about the orientation and gender identity of people you meet
Listen to the LGBTQ + people around you, they know better than you how you can help them! Don't try to get them out of the closet, or defend them in public if they ask you not to.
Show your support as an ally and act as a role model. This can reassure those who hesitate to do the same and helps build a more inclusive environment.
Respond when you witness discrimination against LGBTQ + people, refuse to tolerate the use of offensive words like "fif" and bad taste jokes about LGBTQ + people
Encourage the administration of your school, your workplace and your government to adopt inclusive measures towards LGBTQ + people, and adopt good practices yourself
Percentage of people who have ever criticized someone for making derogatory comments or behaving disrespectfully towards LGBTQ + (among people who have witnessed this kind of situation)
Two-thirds (68%) of respondents consider it easy for a heterosexual person to openly show their support for LGBTQ + people in their immediate circle, 31% consider it very easy. (2015)