BEING AN ALLY – AND WE NEED ALLIES.
An ally is someone who does not identify as a “member” of the LGBTQ+ community. Allies love someone in that community, and/or they are someone who speaks up for equality. To be an ally is to be brave and to be willing to speak up in situations which feel uncomfortable. No one ever wants an ally to place themselves in danger. Allies can often have difficult conversations that would be too traumatic for the LGBTQ+ individual. We are so grateful to our allies.
Examples of hard conversations and possible responses:
People say “We support whatever lifestyle your daughter chooses.”
We say… gently but directly… “She doesn’t have a lifestyle. She has a life. A good one with someone she loves, and we are delighted.”
(Hint: Don’t argue. Just repeat or say these again in a similar way- firmly and sincerely.)
People say, “We love the sinner and hate the sin.”
We say, “We know some people think that being LGBTQ+ is a sin, but we don’t.”
People say, “Do you think being gay or transgender is biological?”
We say, “We don’t know, and we don’t care. We are glad to have so many wonderful people in our lives. They are the people to whom we go for unconditional love.”
People say, “That’s so gay.”
We say, “I am not clear what you mean. Can you explain?” We say, “People I care about are gay. I am not okay with your using the word this way.” We can say, “It sounds like you must mean something else. Can you think of a better word?”
People say, “I’m not comfortable with LGBTQ+ people.”
We say, “That’s too bad. We find them to be accepting of others. We have learned about unconditional love from our LGBTQ+ friends and family members.”
People say, “I am okay with LGBTQ+ people if they don’t flaunt it. Why do they have to throw it in our face?”
We say, “We believe all people should have the same rights, and all people should be respectful of others no matter what their orientation or identity.”
People say, “I think being gay is gross and disgusting.”
We say, “People are often uncomfortable about sexuality. This is private behavior and that is true no matter one’s orientation. It is none of our business.”
People say in a rude way trying to be funny or confront us, “Aren’t you afraid if you hang out with these people, you will turn into one?”
We can say, “I know so many wonderful people within this community. I would be happy to be one of them if that was how I identified. I don’t, and you can’t “catch” being LGBTQ+. You might want to educate yourself more before you make statements like this one.
People say, “ it seems like everyone is trans or queer or nonbinary these days. It is just a fad.
We say, “People in the LGBTQ+ community have spent much of their lives being unable to be who they are because of fear. I am thrilled that they are finally feeling safer to be who they are and to be proud of that. It only seems like a fad because people can finally be honest about themselves.
People say, “gender is based on the anatomy that you are born with. Your assigned sex at birth is your gender. It is simple.”
We say, I have a wonderful video for you to watch that will educate you about sex and gender. Before you say this statement again, watch The Science of Gender by Linden Jordan.