How to Support LGBTQ Teens

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The term “ally” has a lot of clout. 

It refers to those who have your back and are on your team since they know what’s best for you. 
An “ally” is a term used in the LGBTQ community to identify someone that isn’t LGBTQ and yet is devoted to equality and speaks out against prejudice.

 Anyone can be an ally:

• a heterosexual classmate who supports a buddy who is starting to question his sexual orientation;
• an educator who acts as a consultant for a gay-straight alliance
• parents who look for strategies to encourage inclusiveness in their children’s school; and 
• a counsellor who is dedicated to ensuring that LGBTQ concerns are understood.

Here’s what you can do to be an ally to LGBTQ youth:

Allies may play a crucial role in halting and even deterring discrimination and harassment against LGBTQ youngsters by adopting visible steps to support them and their freedoms, ensuring that schools and out-of-home environments are safe for everyone.
While it is occasionally safer for straight supporters to advocate for LGBT rights, becoming an ally isn’t without a unique set of difficulties. 
Allies may face harassment or prejudice as well.

Everyone

• Never conclude other people’s gender identity or sexual orientation.
• Raise your voice in opposition to homophobia, transphobia, and anti-LGBTQ discrimination and harassment.
• Speak out over the use of homophobic language.
• Show your support for anyone who wishes to come out.
• Participate in LGBTQ activities.
• Read on, understand, and explore LGBTQ topics and LGBTQ persons’ rights.
• Wear LGBTQ-friendly badges, magnets, or stickers.

Classmates

• If you see anti-LGBTQ discrimination and harassment, notify the school administrator in writing.
• Speak up for your LGBTQ colleagues and express your sympathy for their treatment with dignity and tolerance.
• Encourage friends who want to accompany a same-sex date or other social gatherings.
• Suggest that your school implement and execute an affirmative action program covering gender identity and sexual orientation.
• Submit a request for books by LGBTQ writers and books on LGBTQ individuals and issues for the library.

Faculty and Staff

• Create a safe environment in your school where anti-gay discourse is not permitted.
• Encourage your institution to implement and enforce an antidiscrimination plan that addresses gender identity and sexual orientation.
• Submit a suggestion for publications by LGBT writers and books on LGBT individuals and topics for the library.
• Think about becoming a GSA adviser.
• Ensure that everyone is included in school events.
• Develop a practical framework that emphasizes the accomplishments of LGBT people. 
• Develop LGBT History Month exhibits and/or teaching materials.

Parents and Family Members

• Be there for your kids and their peers who are questioning their orientation or who identify as LGBTQ.
• Be accessible to discuss these matters with school faculty.
• Assist your kids or their friends in filing bias or harassment charges.
• Assist in the planning of events such as LGBTQ History Month.
• Hold your child’s place of learning responsible if it violates any nondiscrimination legislation.

If you’ve already done some of these things, consider yourself an ally—keep up the excellent work! If you haven’t already, now is a fantastic moment to begin.

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