5 ways to meaningfully support LGBT+ people
Originally published by LGBT+ Liberal Democrats
This LGBT+ History Month we'll be looking at some of the powerful stories about and told by LGBT+ people throughout time. We'll be looking at the injustices that LGBT+ people have lived with, and at how far we've come.
But although we've come far, the struggle is not over. LGBT+ people still face injustices, institutional failures, and particular challenges: from improving LGBT+ inclusive education and health services, to tackling transphobia and biphobia, and ensuring victims of hate crime get the support they need there is still much to do.
These are big challenges, but here are five meaningful things we can all do to support LGBT+ people.
Listen to LGBT+ people
This one may feel obvious, but it's important for any underrepresented group. Try not to fall into the trap of presuming what LGBT+ people think. Make an effort to educate yourself on issues, and listen when LGBT+ people are speaking about their experiences.
Amplify LGBT+ voices
Whether they are LGBT+ voices you personally know, in the arts, or in civil society, an easy way you can help LGBT+ people is by amplifying their voices. This could mean sharing their work, ensuring they have a platform at events and a voice in the decision making process. LGBT+ causes also need your support financially, so if you can afford to, please consider making donations when you can.
Don't leave all the heavy lifting to LGBT+ people
While it's important to listen to and amplify LGBT+ voices, make sure not to leave all the heavy lifting to LGBT+ people. Be an ally and proactively stand up against injustice and for equality. This could be in your personal life, at the workplace, or in politics. LGBT+ people can often feel alone in their struggle. Make sure you play your part when you can.
Put your pronouns in your bio and signature
Putting your pronouns in your social media bio or email signature might look like a little thing but it can send a strong message of inclusivity to those who need it. It sends a message that you won't presume anybody's gender, and that it's a safe environment for people to be who they are. However, don't pressure other people to do this: not everybody is sure of their gender identity or ready to out themselves. All we can do is help create a safe environment.
See equality issues as a lens, not a niche
It can be easy to slip into thinking of LGBT+ and other equalities issues as a niche or silo containing those issues and separating them from other issues. But LGBT+ people exist right across society. LGBT+ people are impacted by all areas of policy: from the economy and business to health, education and pensions. When it comes to any policy area, take a look through an LGBT+ equalities lens.
LGBT+ Liberal Democrats is the LGBT+ wing of the Liberal Democrats, and we fight to ensure that LGBT+ voices are represented within the party and in wider society. Our work runs from consulting and advising on policy, to helping support and fund LGBT+ candidates. If you'd like to support our work, you can join here or make a donation to our fighting fund here. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.