Celebrating Pride with Access Global Group
5 min read | June 01, 2023
Listen and Learn
There’s strength in knowledge and while it may be tempting to inquire with members of the LGBTQIA+ community regarding their experiences with inequality and injustice, it can also unfairly place a burden of emotional and cognitive labor on their shoulders. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t talk about it! However, when inquiring about obstacles they’ve encountered, start by seeking permission and approach the conversation from a place of humility and a mindset focused on learning. True allyship is rooted in listening, but also in taking initiative. Do your research to develop a deeper understanding regarding Queer history and to be mindful of the prevailing gaps in equality that still exist today. Some helpful resources include:
Language and Phrases
Language has the ability to shape our understanding, perceptions, and interactions with the world. It can empower, validate, and uplift, but it can also marginalize, erase, and oppress. For the LGBTQIA+ community, language carries immense significance in expressing identities, experiences, and struggles that have historically been silenced or dismissed. By taking the time to educate ourselves about Queer community language and terms, we demonstrate respect, empathy, and a willingness to listen and learn. It allows us to create safer spaces and engage in meaningful conversations, while avoiding misgendering, microaggressions, or unintentional harm. Embracing and using inclusive language can be a powerful tool in dismantling oppressive structures and ensuring that everyone’s experiences and identities are acknowledged, valued, and celebrated. Check out these great resources:
As allies, our intentions may be genuine, but we must recognize that our actions and words can have unintended consequences. When someone from the LGBTQIA+ community offers feedback, it is an opportunity for us to reflect on our behavior and understand how it may impact others. Accepting feedback requires humility, open-mindedness, and a willingness to examine our own biases and privileges. It is not about taking it personally or becoming defensive, but rather about actively listening, validating experiences, and committing to do better.
See Something? Say Something
Speaking up for LGBTQIA+ coworkers, friends, and family members is a crucial aspect of being an ally, albeit one that can be challenging and demanding. As allies, it is our responsibility to actively monitor our workplaces, social circles, and family environments for oppressive behavior and discrimination. Rather than waiting for marginalized individuals to react, we must proactively step in and address these situations. When we witness discrimination, it is important not to offer sympathy later in private but to provide immediate support in the moment. By being clear, decisive, and assertive in shutting down oppressive behavior, we send a powerful message that bigotry and discrimination have no place in our lives.
Supporting the LGBTQIA+ community goes beyond words and gestures—it also involves taking tangible actions to uplift and empower marginalized individuals. One impactful way to contribute is by making donations to organizations that champion LGBTQIA+ rights and provide vital services to the community. Whether it’s donating to LGBTQIA+ youth centers, transgender support networks, mental health services, or legal defense funds, every contribution, no matter how small, can make a meaningful difference.
- The Trevor Project
About: The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth aged 13-24. Founded in 1998 by James Lecesne, Peggy Rajski, and Randy Stone after the release of the award-winning film “Trevor,” the organization quickly became a vital resource for LGBTQ youth in crisis. It offers a lifeline, TrevorChat instant message counseling, and TrevorSpace, the largest online social network for young LGBTQ individuals. The Trevor Project has received widespread recognition, with hundreds of thousands of calls received and a pioneering role in digital suicide prevention efforts.
- The Center for Black Equity
About: The Center for Black Equity (CBE) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1999 by Earl D. Fowlkes Jr. It advocates for the rights and empowerment of Black LGBTQ+ individuals and communities. CBE works towards social and economic equality through community organizing, advocacy, and cultural events. They host annual Black Pride events, provide resources for health, wellness, and career development, and strive to address intersectional experiences. CBE aims to create safe spaces, amplify voices, and promote equality and representation within the LGBTQ+ and Black communities.
About: GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, amplifies authentic LGBTQ stories through media accountability and community engagement. Founded in 1985, GLAAD’s founders confronted discrimination with facts and compassion amidst the AIDS crisis and sensationalized headlines. Their tireless efforts fostered understanding, inspired positive LGBTQ cultural representation, and held social media platforms accountable for accurate information. GLAAD ensures that LGBTQ voices are seen, heard, and empowered to thrive.
- Lambda Legal
About: Lambda Legal is a leading nonprofit and legal advocacy group championing LGBTQ+ and HIV civil rights. Founded in 1973, it has been instrumental in shaping LGBTQ+ legal protections in the US. Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, Lambda Legal fights for marriage equality, challenges discrimination, advocates for transgender rights, and combats HIV/AIDS-related bias. With regional offices nationwide, Lambda Legal provides resources and support, ensuring LGBTQ+ individuals have equal access to rights and protections.
- The American Civil Liberties Union
About: The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) emerged in response to the civil liberties violations during the Palmer Raids in the early 1920s. Today, it is the foremost defender of the rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. With millions of members and dedicated attorneys, the ACLU fights government abuse and defends individual freedoms such as speech, religion, due process, and privacy. The organization has a rich history, including landmark cases like the Scopes Trial, challenging Japanese internment camps, advocating for desegregation in schools, and championing reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ equality. The ACLU remains committed to protecting civil rights, advocating for marginalized communities, and preserving fundamental freedoms for all.
- OutRight Action International
About: Outright International is a global organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTIQ individuals. They collaborate with partners worldwide to strengthen the LGBTIQ human rights movement, document human rights violations, and advocate for inclusion and equality. Outright amplifies LGBTIQ voices, provides support to activists through advice, training, funding, networking, and crisis response, and advocates for change to advance equality and end discrimination. They celebrate love, diverse identities, and progress while working to eradicate persecution and violence against LGBTIQ people. Founded in 1990 as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Outright has evolved to focus on promoting the human rights of LGBTIQ individuals globally.
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