The Human Rights Campaign3 encourages you to talk candidly and honestly with your LGBTQ+ loved ones about their lives, if they are out and feel comfortable talking to you. Even though you might already know how they identify, you might not know the whole backstory of how they got to be who they are. Here are a few questions to start an open conversation:
- What was it like for you growing up?
- What has the coming out process been like for you?
- What can I do to support you?
GLAAD4 says that if you hear an anti-LGBTQ+ comment or joke, take a moment to speak up and explain why you find it harmful and offensive. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but words matter. By speaking up, you’re letting people know their words aren’t acceptable. “I don’t like jokes like that” can do the trick or if you prefer, you could take the person aside and have a one-on-one conversation with them. Set an example to your friends and family by incorporating inclusive language into your regular conversations, advises The Human Rights Campaign.5
Get connected to the community
The Human Rights Campaign6 shares various ways to get plugged into the LGBTQ+ community. You can:
- Join pro-LGBTQ+ causes or groups on social networking platforms.
- Get in touch with your elected officials about LGBTQ+ rights.
- Go to pride celebrations and other LGBTQ+ community events.
- Consider your media intake. Read an LGBTQ+ article, newsletter or book. Watch a movie or TV show where an LGBTQ+ character is the lead.
Where to find resources
Many websites, organizations and groups can help you become an even stronger ally of the LGBTQ+ community. Here are two that you might find helpful:
- PFLAG (formerly known as Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays): This is a national organization that unites parents, families and allies with people who are LGBTQ. Learn more:
- The National Resource Center on LGBTQ+ Aging: Dedicated to providing resource development, technical assistance, education, and training for older adults and their caregivers. Learn more:
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