How to be an ally

Top 10 tips from the CSP’s LGBTQIA+ network for being an ally

How to be an ally
How to be an ally

There’s no better time than LGBTQIA+ History Month to play an active role in supporting and understanding colleagues from marginalised communities. 

  1. Put pronouns at the bottom of your email – it shows you know what pronouns are. But it shouldn’t be mandatory, as for some trans/gender-nonconforming people it’s not appropriate to state pronouns. Read more from WARWICK.
  2. Do not assume which pronouns people use or how they identify. Ask and use them correctly. And wear your own pronoun badge, if it feels appropriate for you.
  3. Read or watch something about intersectionality, power, and privilege. Stephanie Nixon’s paper or YouTube talks is a good place to start. As is this talk on physiotherapy professional culture. YouTube v=GoYBroDz-e4.
  4. Scared of saying the wrong thing?This list of terms can help you navigate the LGBTQIA+ landscape without causing offence. And if you make a mistake, apologise and ask for guidance.
  5. Spend some time this month reflecting on your own biases and where they might come from. We all have them and it’s important to acknowledge that and to work to challenge that in ourselves and others.
  6. Call it out if you hear homophobic/bi-phobic/transphobic jokes or comments. Adopt a zero-tolerance policy call it out or report it to a colleague.
  7. Listen if a relative, friend or colleague is coming out/determining their identity just listen to them. It can really make the difference.
  8. If you have been called out for a microaggression, understand that while you may have made a mistake, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. But what can you do? Read 'You’ve Been Called Out for a Microaggression. What Do You Do?'
  9. How else can I be an ally? Read this Guide for Being a Straight Ally and watch this; Beyond allyship – a discussion hosted by Alex MacKenzie, chair of CSP Council, with panellists Sudhir Daya, Mary Makinde and Stephanie Nixon.

  10. Diversify your social media feeds…On Twitter, follow: 

  • @csplgbtqia+ run by the CSP’s LGBTQIA+ network
  • @sb_pinkmantaray Schulyer Bailar is a trans man and athlete dedicated to creating informative content, including how to use inclusive language
  • @travisalabanza Musings on gender, art and  life with Guardian regular, playwright and author Travis Alabanza
  • @MsLadyPhyll Co-founder and director of UK Black Pride, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah continues the fight to ensure no LGBTQIA+ person is left behind

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