Letter: How to be an LGBTQ Ally

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Being an ally to any marginalized community is more important in affecting real change than many people realize.

However, developing oneself as an ally is a skill that doesn’t happen overnight; it comes from engaging in open conversations, asking questions, recognizing your own biases and blindspots, and stepping out of your comfort zone. Being an ally means learning, empathizing and taking on the struggle as your own.

As we honor Laguna Beach LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Month, we offer a few specific ways you can become an ally:

Listen: The easiest way to begin to become an ally is to listen.

Educate yourself: Identify and challenge stereotypes and unconscious bias. It starts with learning a little history.

Talk with others in your community: Have conversations with diverse LGBTQ people, from high school students to senior citizens, and learn about their experience and their history.

Learn and use correct inclusive language: In the LGBTQ community, language is everything. It’s important to use the right words and pronouns when referring to someone or describing their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Speak up and intervene: Don’t tolerate anti-LGBTQ jokes or statements expressed in your presence.

Whether you are a part of the LGBTQ community or an ally, please join me at the Laguna Art Museum this Saturday as I lead a panel discussion on the importance of LGBTQ history and culture in Laguna Beach.

Chris Tebbutt
Founder, Laguna Beach LGBTQ Heritage & Culture Alliance

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