"The University is keen to develop an informal network of LGBT+ Allies at the University."
WHAT IS AN ALLY?
An Ally is a (typically) straight and/or cis person who supports members of the LGBT community. In a workplace, good allies recognise that LGBT people can perform better if they can be themselves, and that everyone benefits from inclusion, and so allies use their role within an organisation to create a culture where this can happen. Allies might be at the very top of an organisation or a colleague in a team. Either way, they recognise that it’s not just the responsibility of LGBT people to create a workplace culture that is inclusive of everyone.
TIPS AND HINTS ABOUT BECOMING AN ALLY
- Educate and Empower Yourself Doing some research, reading up online and learning a little more about the LGBT community is a great place to start. Even if you’re part of the community, find out about people whose orientation or gender identity differs to your own. Confront your own assumptions, prejudices, and biases. Google, YouTube and the LGBT media are your friends! Getting the language right can sometimes feel intimidating, so why not start with our glossary of terms?
- Listen As allies to each other, we have to be able to listen, ask how someone is doing and be aware that other people’s lives and experiences will be completely different to our own, especially in terms of discrimination and prejudice. Remember that just because someone has come out to you, they might not be out to everyone. Be respectful of each other and enjoy learning about all the differences and diversity in the communities around us.
- Be Visible and Challenge
We want as many positive messages out there as possible. When you hear people making negative comments or using hurtful or abusive language towards LGBT people, challenge it, if safe to do so. If it’s online, report it. You might not always have all the answers or know exactly what to say and that’s OK. Here are some tips to think about:
- Keep calm and explain why bullying is wrong
- Try saying something like, ‘Stop, this is wrong’ and explain why
- Make sure you stay safe and don’t put yourself in danger
- Check the person being bullied is OK
- Encourage them to report it
- Influence Others Think about the opportunities you have to promote inclusion where you work. Whether it’s a conversation with friends, family or colleagues, organising a ‘lunch and learn’ at work, wearing a Rainbow lanyard or pin or putting up a poster. Use the platforms you have to amplify the voices of LGBT communities and share other people’s stories.
- Being an Ally goes Beyond just LGBT It’s important to remember that people have lots of different elements to their identities – someone might be bi and also a person of colour (PoC), or trans, gay and disabled, non-binary and dealing with a mental health issue. This may mean they suffer multiple levels of discrimination in their life. Being an ally is about listening to and learning from someone else's experiences and showing your support for them.
EVENTS AND TRAINING
Stonewall delivered an LGBT Allies workshop in September 2019. The workshop gave non-LGBT+ staff an opportunity to:
- Develop a better understanding of the language and terminology used by and about the LGBT community
- Explore what it means to be an LGBT ally, and why it’s important to have visible and active allies in the workplace
- Identify practical ways to step up as an ally and to commit to inclusive behaviours
If you are interested in attending a workshop and becoming an Ally, please contact us at email@example.com.
Useful LinksYou may find the external links below of some further assistance. However, please note that the University is not responsible for the content which appears on third party websites:
These documents are for guidance purposes only and may be updated based upon any feedback which is received by the Diversity and Inclusion Unit.