3 Ways to help LGBTQIA+ people today
November isn’t huge on the calendar of LGTBQIA+ events for the wider world to commercialise. Pride is a distant corporate memory, so the allyship level seems to dip over winter.
Sure, we've got Trans Awareness Week coming up, but until next February, - LGBTQIA History month - there is very little conversation about LGBTQIA+ issues.
This is where I come in, and I would like to share three very easy and accessible ways you can help LGBTQIA+ people as an ally today!
1. Explore Key Legislations and their impact on the community
There are so many things in our collective history that have had a huge impact on the way we are treated as a community today. Section 28, is a huge one.
Margaret Thatcher introduced Section 28 which banned local authorities from ‘promoting homosexuality' or ‘pretended family relationships’ it also prohibited councils from funding educational materials and projects perceived to 'promote homosexuality’. This was mainly a Tory action to win votes, prompting a resurgence in ‘traditional values' as a marketing tool. It wasn’t repealed until 2003, but it has had a huge ripple effect and meant that queer people in the UK have been treated as ‘others’ for over three decades.
Reading up on things like this have a huge impact on your understanding of the marginalisation we still face as a community and also show you areas that need your support!
2. Google your questions
I talk a lot about how harmful questions can be. I appreciate people want to learn, but sometimes there is a time and a place for your questions. Google is a free resource available to most of us and can do so much of the work without any trauma, upset or accidental harm being caused.
I love answering questions, it's a huge part of my job, but I charge for my answers - because it is labour. To expect all LGBTQIA+ people to be a walking encyclopaedia for free is too much to ask. So jump on Google and do your own research free of labour on the LGBTQIA+ community!
3. Talk to other people outside the community
I get it, being outside the community can feel confusing. The thing is, we’re living and breathing it. So it can feel very intense for us, especially if there is a pertinent news story or event. Which is why, as allies, continuing the conversation amongst yourself can make such a huge difference.
These kinds of conversations - similar to white people talking and tackling racism and colourist issues without asking for labour from the affected group - are vital for actual change. The more accepted you are in society, the more power you hold. This means you have a great advantage when it comes to change-making - so lean into it and make a difference for the LGBTQIA+ community!
So there you have it, three easy things you can do to continue the vital work of allyship today and all this year!
Shot by Rachel Pechey