Here are some tips to help you support someone you know who identifies as LGBTQ:
- It’s okay: Show the individual, that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer is okay. Let the individual know that you are here to support them and offer to help find resources. If you don’t know where to locate resources you can look online or find a local place such as an LGBTQ+ drop in center or resource center.
- Respectful language: Make sure you are aware of the language you are using. Often words can be offensive to others, even if you don’t intend for them to be offensive.
- Pronouns: Pronouns are really important! Make sure you are doing the best you can to respect people pronouns. If you are unsure or do not know someones pronouns ask them. It is much better to ask a person their pronouns rather than trying to guess. Some examples of pronouns are he/him/his, she/her/her, and they/them/theirs.
- Education: Educate yourself and others on these topics if you have questions or are unaware of these situations. Gather information through reading books, news articles, magazines, and the internet. There are also resources for you provided on our resource page.
- Speak up: If you see or hear someone else using homophobic slurs speak up and correct them. It may be intimidating, but you will be helping them to understand more about the LGBTQ+ community and helping other people around you.
- Listen: Make sure to listen to the individual looking for support. Do not interrupt them while they are speaking, let them tell their whole story first. If they are coming out to you they are scared and need you to listen without judgment. Coming out is hard and takes a lot of courage. Just be patient, you will have your turn to speak as well.
- Let them be themselves: If this is your child or a friend coming out to you let them be themselves. If your child wants to wear a dress or a tie, play with truck or dolls, then let them; it may be hard for you to let this happen, but it will help them to develop into a more confident person if you allow them to explore and express their individuality.