According to the Glaad website millions of Americas say they do not know someone who is gay. However, everyone knows at least one person who is left handed. The percentage of people who are left handed make up the same percent of people who are gay. That's a lot of people!
So here are some tips on how to be a good Ally. If you want further information please check out the Glaad website. They will be able to help.
Be Open Minded
There are so many variations of sexuality and gender that even I get confused sometimes. My friend created a power point that I actually use as a reference. Being anything besides heterosexual can encompass a large scope of feelings. You can be asexual, cisgendered, trans, gay and everything in-between. Just because your friend says they are gay does not mean that its as simple as they like the same sex. Keep your mind and heart open until they figure it all out.
Get the fuck over using “gay” as a negative.
The next time I hear someone say, “that is sooooo gay” instead of lame or stupid I will freak out. Don’t even get me started on the word faggot. Just typing that has given me anxiety. Being a good Ally means completely changing simple phases that society has unfortunately ingrained into our poor minds. Gay, faggot, flamer, fairy, are all hurtful to the gay community. Stop using them.
And please don’t give me that, “But some of them call each other faggots”. Until you get the shit kicked out of you just because of who you love, keep your trap shut.
If you see something, Say something
Being a good Ally isn't just leading an ear to your friend, although that is extremely important. Being a good Ally is stopping people from hurting the LGBTQ+ community. If you see or hear homophobic actions, speak up! I know that it is scary and confronting someone is difficult, but imagine how hard it must be for the person who is the focus of that hate. The Ally force believes in you!
Confront your own homophobia or prejudice.
This is a hard one. Most people, no matter how loving, open-minded or accepting, have some engrained homophobia apart of them. No one blames you for that! We have been raised on homophobic slurs and to fear anything that veers away from normal. Realize it is ok and overcome your prejudice. You can do it, and your friend will be better off for it.
Just be a good friend
No matter what keep in mind that being apart of the LGBTQ+ does not make your friend or family member into a totally different person! Yes they will feel more comfortable in their own skin, be more willing to share their feelings and overall be happier once you know…but how is there any negatives in that!! The person you became friends with is still there, and your relationship will grow even strong when they know you are their Ally.