Being an Ally to the LGBTQ2+ Community

This is what Frommer’s had to say about travelling to Jamaica if you’re gay:

“Jamaica is the most homophobic island in the Caribbean, with harsh anti-gay laws, even though there’s a large local gay population. If you’re desiring a trip to get some sun,  forget Jamaica unless you want to stay deep in the closet.”

I would never had known this had we not researched gay-friendly Caribbean locations last year when planning a family vacation. This is why being an ally to the LGBT community is important; it helps to bring awareness and understanding to a community that often experiences discrimination and harassment.

Here are some tips for being an ally to the LGBTQ2+ community:

  • Educate yourself as to the challenges and needs of the community. Look up statistics; do the research.
  • Listen. If you don’t understand something, or wish to know an issue facing the LGBT community, ask…and then listen to understand.
  • Be supportive and loving.
  • Confront your own privilege. If you’re straight, you are afforded privileges that gay people aren’t. Understand that that can impact the LGBT community in ways that you may not understand.
  • Be mindful of language. Words and tone matter; make sure to use politically correct terms and stop using the words associated to the community in a derogatory manner.
  • Be welcoming.
  • Speak up. If you see an injustice, say something; even when its uncomfortable. I can guarantee you it’s not going to feel nearly as hurtful as the person on the receiving end of being discriminated against.

Being an ally to the LGBT community means being a friend; it is aligning with others so as to promote fairness, kindness and equality. 🙂

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Photo credit: http://Photo by yoav hornung on Unsplash

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