Here are some tips on how you can be an ally and support the LGBTQI+ community and youth pride month. As teen and DBT specialists, this is an important topic as statistically the LGBTQI+ community has higher rates of suicide. As we become allies we can help reduce depression related to discrimination.
Tip #1 remember that pride events are not about you as an ally. Pride is about celebrating identity and the history of LGBTQI+ activism.
Tip #2 Be sure to check in with your friends and family who are a part of the LGBTIQ+ community as pride can be a triggering for some due to there being a heightened visibility. Ask your friends, family, co-works, peers etc. how you can help to support them.
Tip #3 use this time to educate yourselves. Remember it is not the job of the LGBTQI+ community to educate you.
Tip #4 lead with your ally ship. As an ally you can advocate for others. Take this time not only to educate yourselves but educate others by having conversations about LGBTQI+ related issues.
Tip #5 be willing to make mistakes (we are all human). Be willing to take feedback and admit when you are wrong. Tip #6 do not focus on getting praise. The focus is on supporting the LGBQI+ people in your life.
Research shows that LGBTQI+ students have historically faced higher levels of discrimination than their straight peers. These numbers tend to be higher during middle and high school years. Here are some helpful websites for Allies and for LGBTQI+ youths. (https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/)
https://thesafezoneproject.com/resources/ Lists multiple resources and trainings for allies
http://www.imatyfa.org/ TransYouth Family Allies
https://pflag.org/ Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
https://gsanetwork.org/ Gay Straight Alliance Networks
https://itgetsbetter.org/ It Gets Better Project
https://www.thetrevorproject.org/ The Trevor Project
Definition of Advocate: One who pleads the cause of another, who defends or maintains a cause or proposal, one who supports or promotes the interests of a cause or group. (merrian-webster.com)
Definition of Ally: A person who is not LGBTQI+ but shows support for LGBTQI+ people and promotes equality in a variety of ways. (hrc.org)