How to be a good ally in 2020

Given the current political climate, it might feel like we’re regressing in attitudes towards queer people. But right now I have a sense of hope that this new decade will bring about even more positive changes than the last one. The 2010’s saw an increase of worldwide acceptance for LGBT+ people, with 18 countries legalising same sex marriage!

Even as I write this, I’m reading about how heterosexual couples can now have civil partnerships. Although it might not seem like it on the surface, this feels like another progressive step towards an equal and inclusive society.

Although LGBT+ people make up a small percent of the UK population (7%) it’s important for us as individuals and as a society to be aware of and accepting of queerness. With the current UK population sitting at about 67.7 million people, that’s approximately 63 million potential allies who could be doing their bit to help spread awareness and tolerance.

As we move forward into a new decade, we all have a chance to carve out better paths for ourselves and future generations, and contribute to the ever-changing values we hold as a society. You might be thinking, “what can I do? I’m just one person, I can’t make much of a difference!” Well, if we all aim to make one small difference, it will all add up to something much bigger

                      You can…   

…Be curious

Be genuinely interested in some ones different experience. Go into conversations with the aim of learning something new about who they are and what they feel, not with the view of convincing them your way is better.

….Be open to change

Not just social change, but change within yourself. Be open to the possibility that hearing different viewpoints or opinions might change how you think and feel about things, that it’s possible your values and beliefs could evolve into something different. Let go of the concept that change is bad thing.

…Speak out

If you hear negative talk or see prejudiced behaviour towards a specific group of people (e.g. trans, bisexuals etc.), call them out on it & let them know that kind of talk and attitude isn’t acceptable in today’s society. If those people aren’t challenged about what they are saying or doing, it’s unlikely they will think twice about doing things differently next time.

…Celebrate the positives

See or hear about something inclusive and progressive happening in the news? Share the sh*t out of it! With world news at our fingertips, it’s easy to get swept up with all the negativity that goes on out there and forget that there is good stuff happening too. Spread the positive vibes with the hope that the more that people see it, the more ordinary and commonplace it will feel to be queer.