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How to support your LGBTQ friends and family

 

Photo © touchafid


June is widely considered the official month of Pride. But what does that mean exactly? Well, it’s a movement for people in the LGBTQ community, including their friends and families, to celebrate each other’s differences, while promoting equal rights.


It’s a time for people to be “loud and proud” embracing their gender identity and sexual orientation. Celebrating Pride is important for people in the LGBTQ community so they feel like they are loved and accepted by the non-LGBTQ community as a whole.


What does LGBTQ stand for?


What's an ally?

People who don’t identify as LGBTQ but who are strong supporters and stand up for the equal rights of the LGBTQ community are called allies. An ally is a really good friend or family member who sticks by you, especially when times get tough. It’s like having someone stand up for a friend when they are being bullied.

 

Children hold LGBTQ-positive signs.
Little girls hold signs that support the LGBTQ communities during a Pride Parade. Photo by Ted Eytan licensed CC BY-SA 2.0

How can I be an ally?

  • Treat others as you would like to be treated — with dignity and respect.
  • Be open-minded. Being different doesn’t mean wrong. We all have our own unique ways, but it’s what makes us interesting!
  • Be a good listener. Try not to assume that your friends are straight (or heterosexual, which is when men fall in love with women and women fall in love with men). They may be struggling with their identity and just need a friend they can trust.
  • Stand up to those who make homophobic jokes. Homophobia means not liking someone just because they're gay. Let them know that it’s hurtful to others and that it’s not OK.
  • Defend your LGBTQ friends and family if people are being mean to them.
  • Invite your LGBTQ friends to hang out with your non-LGBTQ friends and family to make them feel welcome.
  • Go to events in your area like Pride parades and show your support by wearing a pink triangle or carrying a rainbow flag!
  • Remember that love is love, and when two grown-ups love each other, it's never a bad thing.
     

Find out why pink triangles are special within the LGBTQ community!


Funky Pride rainbow-coloured socks.
Funky rainbow-coloured socks — the same colours as the Pride flag! Photo by Illinois Springfield licensed CC BY-NC-ND 2.0