Supporting LGBTTQ* Folks

There are four basic ways that you can support LGBTTQ* individuals, families, and communities:

1. Become aware

  • Acknowledge and be accountable to your privilege
  • Acknowledge that there are numerous sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions locally and globally
  • Identify your own LGBTTQ* fears, phobias, confusions, and discomforts
  • Think of gender identity and expression, as well as sexual orientation, like a galaxy (no two stars are identical) or like water (fluid)
  • When LGBTTQ* folks out themselves to you, they are inviting you to privileged information about themselves. Please respect this and know that their story is not yours to tell

2. Continue learning

  • Educate yourself about the issues and histories facing those with whom you want to be allied
  • Listen to as many LGBTTQ* folks and their experiences as possible. Do not expect those with whom you want to ally yourself with, to teach you
  • Take a gender studies course and/or LGBTTQ* awareness and support training
  • Read books and blogs
  • Watch films
  • Attend community events like Pride, remembrance and memorial events, Take Back the Night, etc.

3. Align yourself with social justice and empathy

  • Know that when someone chooses to use a specific bathroom, they have done so by assessing their safety first. It is not okay to tell someone that they are in the wrong bathroom or report them to security
  • Operate from a place of empathy, kindness, generosity, dignity, and love
  • Support the work those you are allying yourself
  • Whenever possible, allies turn the spotlight away from themselves and to the voices that are so often marginalized and ignored

 4. Take action

  • Know that oppression is constant. Those who are oppressed and marginalized in society do not get to take breaks. As an ally, you cannot retreat into your privilege if/when you don’t want to engage
  • Mirror the language people are using to describe themselves, their experience, and bodies
  • Stop using and interrupt homophobic, lesbophobic, biphobic, and transphobic behaviours such as slurs or jokes. Slurs like dyke, fag, tranny, that’s so gay, etc. are hurtful and come from a place of malice

You will make mistakes. Remain calm. Take a big breath, apologize, and be accountable to your mistake. Try again and don't give up.


Dr. Corinne Mason, Brandon University
Jamie Utt, Every Day Feminism
Mia McKenzie, Black Girl Dangerous
Morgan Stirling, Rainbow Resource Centre
Rune Breckon, Winnipeg and Brandon Trans* Day of Remembrance