How Do I Support My LGBTQ Friends?

During Pride Month, there are many events where LGBT people can celebrate who they are. But June is also a good time for straight people to show their LGBT friends, family members, and coworkers that they support them.

Here are eight ways to be a good friend.

1. Find out about the different kinds of sexuality on the LGBT spectrum.

In 2018, sexual identity can be complicated and changeable, and new words are being added to the language. It’s normal to feel lost. Here is a closer look at a few words and phrases to help you better understand them.

2. Do one or two small things

Little things like going to a loved one’s first Pride parade or putting up a rainbow flag mean more than you might think. What you do says more than what you say.

3. Use appropriate pronouns

Still, words are important. Coming out as gay or lesbian can be a long and hard process. You can show your friends you care and respect them by asking how they identify and then using those ways to describe them.

4. If someone comes out to you, you don’t have to talk about it.

People who are on the LGBT spectrum may have been hurt by strangers, governments, or even people they know and love. They had to be brave to come out. Don’t think that because they told you something, they want you to tell other people. The story is theirs to tell.

5. Listen

Even if you can’t always relate, try to understand what they’re going through. LGBT people face problems that straight people may not have had to deal with. Try to understand.

6. Speak up against prejudice

If you hear someone make a joke about gay people or say something rude, tell them you don’t like it. Don’t support businesses with policies that make people feel bad about themselves or politicians who say hurtful things.

7. Don’t let Pride be all about yourself

Don’t stare at LGBT people or sneak pictures of them like they’re strange animals. Don’t try to guess out loud who someone is or talk about how great of a friend you are (let your actions speak for themselves). Watch, listen, and join in, but keep in mind that as an outsider, you have certain limits.

8. Please don’t ask why there isn’t a Straight Pride month.

This should be easy to understand. If you don’t have anything nice to say, your mom probably told you not to say it.

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