I know I’m not the most *qualified* to speak on this subject, but maybe that makes it better. Maybe the problem is that only the people who are most *knowledgeable* about a subject speak up, and then we lose 90% of the world’s opinions… anyways, enough about my lack of expertise, it’s time to get to the point of this article.
Now, more than ever, the LGBTQ+ community needs allies. As straight individuals, especially straight, white, individuals, a lot of us need to take the time right now to pick a side. And I don’t mean that gut reaction, “oh of course I stand for ____ “, but I mean actually think about what you are planning on doing in order to PROVE your beliefs. I mean, seriously, you’re not an ally just because you have gay friends, just like you’re not not-racist just because you have black friends. You can be homophobic and know gay people, the two are not mutually exclusive. And you can be completely NOT homophobic, and still not be an ally. For the most part, that’s what I see Every. Single. Day. And as a straight female, I am equally as guilty of participating in this type of sideline behavior.
Well, it has to stop. So today, I’m going to share a few simple tips and tricks for being more than just a spectator, and help you become a cheerleader (or, better yet, the defensive lineman who doesn’t let any of those damn homophobes from hurting your quarterback… but, one step at at time)
- Go to rallies and protests
This is perhaps one of the least utilized ways of getting involved. “It’s too far” or “I don’t have the time” are common excuses, but girls, we showed out in force for the Women’s March, we can’t just ignore the fact that there are other oppressed groups who need our support as well. Make a sign, walk up and down the street, be active in helping the LGBTQ+ community’s voice be heard. The more people there are, the more the politicians will realize they are forced to listen. And that brings me to my next point…
- Call your representative
If you’re anything like me, you’re probably wondering who your rep even is. Well, Google your senators and house reps, or even local government. It’s not hard I promise. Then, write them, email them, make your voice heard. This is especially important if you live in an area where you fear that human rights will be taken away if Trump passes an anti-LGBTQ+ bill. Oh, wait. He already got rid of transgender rights. So IT’S IMPORTANT EVERYWHERE. TELL YOUR CONGRESSMEN AND WOMEN THAT YOU WILL NOT VOTE FOR A HOMOPHOBIC BIGOT. If enough people call, it will make an impact.
- Engage in ruthless social media battles
Yeah yeah I get it this isn’t the best way to do anything, but I had to come up with something for the couch potato who can’t be bothered to actually hit the “call” button on the phone in their hands. There are always homophobic people attacking gay or transgender individuals, and it’s your job to go out of your way to protect them, and let them know what an idiot they are. Will this change their opinion? No. But it will probably help overwhelm their mentions and crash their phone, and then who’s the real winner? (hint: the answer is you)
- Write about it
This one is something that really hits home for me, and I’m sure it will for a lot of other bloggers out there. If you are a blogger, an author, or someone with a half decent social media following, you need to use your platform to make a difference. That’s half the reason I started this blog. I want to write something to help raise awareness for issues. It does no good if you support gay rights secretly in the little internal hole of your body. You need to vocalize the issue. If you don’t have a platform right now, you can make one really easily. Setting up a Twitter or WordPress blog, Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram, or any other social media, only takes a few clicks and an email address. And BOOM. You can share your support online.
- Read about it
Even if the above is realllyyyyy not for you, it’s important to stay educated by reading stuff related to the topic (blogs, newspapers, or fiction novels) and making sure that you know what is going on. You’re not genuinely supportive if you didn’t even realize that Trump revoked the transgender rights law, because there’s no way you COULD be supportive about something you didn’t know. And that’s bad. Educate yourself. That goes for all topics, not just this one.
Hopefully, you decide to go out and do one of the things I mentioned above. Everything makes a difference, and with our current political climate minority groups need all the help they can get. So step out of your comfort zone, because some people are being forced to live oppressed every day.
Do you have any other tips for supporting LGBTQ+ individuals? Were any of my above suggestions helpful and/or absolutely terrible? Comment below and share your experiences.
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