We asked #TeamEames: How can people become better allies to the LGBTQ+ community?
Being an ally to any community, I think it’s mostly about amplifying their voices rather than using your own. By all means signpost your support through the wearing of pin badges, lanyards or changing your email signature to reflect your stance, but still, the best thing anyone with privilege can do is lift up those who are struggling and encourage others to listen.
The one area you SHOULD use your voice, however, is in publicly calling out unacceptable behaviour. Offensive language, “banter”, and poor attempts at humour at LGBTQ+ people’s expense should all be shot down loudly by allies. - Charlie Thomas, UK
I think everyone has to take individual responsibility for their own learning and sometimes unlearning. A good approach is never to assume anything, appreciate that your language is important, and if you are unsure about something, be genuine, be kind and ask. - Heather Yardley, UK
By participating in events and increasing understanding of the LGBTQ+ community. Education, I would say, is one of the most effective ways of being an ally. If you understand the history and what is happening currently in the community, then you can place yourself in a better position to be an effective ally. - Hannah Turner, UK
Call out things they hear that are inappropriate. Often, comments are not intentionally insensitive, and flagging it to the individual in a direct but appropriate manner is the first step to changing behaviours. - Andrew Mackay, UK
There are numerous ways to be an ally, but I personally learnt to be very conscious of language and expressions or figures of speech. There are so many phrases that we never stop to actually understand the meaning of can be discriminatory. I try to police myself with those. - Rafaela Fakhre, UK
As allies, we need to call out bias when we see it, but we also have a responsibility to educate ourselves. It's not the responsibility of every LGBTQ+ employee to educate their heteronormative colleagues. Hence, there has to be a willingness to learn and understand the challenges and biases that are barriers daily. Some small steps we can take are showing our pronouns in signatures and having conversations that challenge the status quo. I also think that it is important not to assume or try to force someone to share more than they're willing to. - Abigail Moss, UK
It might be overly simplistic, but my belief is that we treat all people, as people. Talk to each other with respect, understanding, and as equals. We’re all human beings, and nothing else should come into it. I appreciate that more proactivity is required as it’s just (unfortunately) not as straightforward as that. But, if we all approached all interactions that way, wouldn’t we be a step further forwards? - Ruth Foster, UK