Active Allyship

Ally is a Verb, Not an Identity: Allyship is more than a declaration or status. It requires active, consistent, committed effort on behalf of others.

Be PC (Personally Considerate): Reframe “PC” into an effort to include rather than exclude, to avoid assumptions and stereotypes, to expand empathy and reduce defensiveness.

Don’t Ask What You Wouldn’t Want to Tell:  LGBTQ+ people have the same right to privacy and respect as cisgender heterosexuals. Unsolicited questions about sexual practices and anatomy are intrusive and rude.

People Have Orientations & Genders, Relationships Do Not: Using “gay” as shorthand for all things non-heterosexual or cisgender is inaccurate and a form of erasure.

There is No Such Thing as “The Lifestyle”: People of the same orientation or gender have diverse interests, hobbies, types of relationships, personalities, and forms of expression (clothing, jewelry, hairstyles, speech patterns, mannerisms).

The Self Knows Best: While label use and personal understanding of concepts can change over time, self-identification is the only valid measure of gender and sexual/romantic orientation.


Standardize Pronoun and Name Use: Add your pronouns to your signature block on emails and correspondence. Update nametag templates and official forms to include a space for this. Making this a commonplace practice removes scrutiny and undue burdens from trans and gender diverse people.

Call Them By Their Name/Pronouns: Use a person’s pronouns and desired name in conversation, introductions, emails, formal correspondence, and on name tags. Do this consistently, even when the person is not present. Unsure about pronouns or names? Ask! They will appreciate your effort to get this right.

Use Inclusive Terminology for Relationships and Individuals: Examples include same-sex relationship, partner, spouse, sibling(s), and child(ren). Singular “they” has been a recognized part of English grammar for hundreds of years.

Shift to Gender-Neutral Forms of Group Address: Examples include everyone, folks, friends, people, y’all, staff, students.

Mistakes Are Inevitable: If you catch yourself using an inaccurate term, name, or pronoun, correct yourself and move on. If someone points out a mistake or misunderstanding to you, listen first, reflect on the impact, and apologize without making your feelings or intent the priority. Then follow through with a sincere effort to change your behavior.​

Don’t Do It for the Applause: Your activism for and/or friendships within the LGBTQIA+ community should not be used as a status symbol or proof that you are a good person.