how to be a lgbtq ally at work

hey tribe!

how is your week going?

while we are celebrating the pride month, many argue that people and companies’ kind of forget about it right after the pride month ends. celebrating pride and recognizing the LGBTQIA+ community cannot be limited to just one month. if we really want to make that difference, especially at workplaces, then certain things need to be internalised because while we have progressed a lot in recent years, LGBTQ entrepreneurs and employees still feel isolated and face several hurdles in the professional world.

a 2011 report showed that 42% of the LGBTQ respondents faced workplace discrimination. in 2021, the survey showed that 45.5% of LGBTQ workers faced discrimination at their workplaces including getting fired or not being hired.

we are a part of this society and even though recognition and acceptance has increased, we are still far away from making a safe space for our fellow peers. so, here are a few tips on how to be a better ally for LGBTQ co-workers and entrepreneurs.

stand up for your colleagues

it is not always required that a LGBTQ-identified person is in the room for everyone to be polite and accountable. stand up for your colleague and employees even when they are not in the room. that is the best way to hold yourself accountable and create a safer environment for your colleagues. if you are unaware of something, then educate yourself on what is appropriate and what is not. whatever you would like to ask about the experiences your colleague might have had, ask in a respectful tone so they know that you are willing to learn and support them.

language is a powerful tool

be more affirming and provide encouragement to your LGBTQ co-workers. that doesn’t mean you awkwardly pat them on the back every time you see them. nope. all you have to do is call attention to their accomplishments and genuinely lift them up. we also need to make sure no one is cracking inappropriate jokes. tell the person cracking such jokes that its not funny and let them know that they might hurt someone. finally, don’t forget to be mindful of your own language because homophobia is embedded in our social conditioning and sometimes, we may do something without giving much thought to it.

if you show your support with more than just words, you create a big change around you. so do not hesitate to have difficult conversations.

have a great day.

take care. live aastey.