5 Ways to Be an Ally to your Students

With the start of the month in which we celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and their right to live a dignified life, we share with you a few tips for the teaching community that will help a more inclusive environment.

1. Listen. One of the simplest yet most important ways to be an ally is to listen. Like all students, LGBTQ+ students need to feel comfortable expressing themselves. If a student comes to talk to you about being harassed, feeling excluded, or just about their life in general, keep in mind that you may be the only person they feel safe speaking to. Be there to listen.

2. Respect confidentiality. Effective allies will respect their students’ confidentiality and privacy. Someone who is coming out may not want everyone to know. Assume that the person only told you and just wants you to know unless they indicate otherwise. Informing others can create an unsafe environment for the student.

3. Be conscious of your biases. Effective allies acknowledge how homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism may affect their efforts to be an ally to LGBTQ+ people. They continuously work to recognize and challenge their own biases.

4. Seek out knowledge. Effective allies periodically brush up on LGBTQ+-related language and current issues facing the LGBTQ+ community.

5. Be a resource. An effective ally will also know when and how to refer students to outside help. The last section of this guide includes a list of LGBTQ+ related resources and referral sources for LGBTQ+ youth.

June is an exciting month to celebrate the contributions of the LGBTQ+ community, but we also must continue the work to make sure everyone is supported. 

To learn more about Metropolis’ LGBTQ+ artists, performers and speakers, contact us today.

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