“An ally can take so many forms, from an all-out activist working day and night for the cause, to a passing stranger on the street that gives a friendly smile rather than a stare.”
by Hannah Jackson
Thank you for helping us come out to the world.
Thank you for standing up for us when others don’t.
Thank you for not assuming we’re straight, because we don’t “look gay”.
Thank you for not changing how you see us.
Thank you for not making jokes that highlight we are different.
Thank you for not batting an eyelid when we mention our same-sex partner.
Thank you for not staring because we’re holding hands in public.
Thank you for standing tall with us at Pride, year after year.
Thank you for wearing LGBTQ+ lanyards and badges and adding pronouns to your email signature.
Thank you for seeing the value and opportunities of diverse teams.
Thank you for not questioning why we love who we love.
Thank you for not passing judgement without walking a day in our shoes.
Thank you for being a member of your LGBTQ+ networks.
Thank you for considering the people around you and not assuming everyone is the same.
Thank you for consulting the LGBTQ+ community for your communications.
Thank you for representing us in a fair and accurate way.
Thank you for teaching your children about the community from an early age, to make it easier for future generations.
Thank you for creating teams that feel equal and empowered.
Thank you for encouraging us to help others, in their LGBTQ+ journey.
An ally can take so many forms, from an all-out activist working day and night for the cause, to a passing stranger on the street that gives a friendly smile rather than a stare. Many of these individuals will never know the positive impact they have had on LGBTQ+ lives, but we do.
While the LGBTQ+ community is finding its voice more and more each day, we can only make real change when we have enough allies consciously changing the way they think and challenging others to do the same.
Communicators have a critical role to play as allies, we’re in a privileged position that can effect change. Whether you work in internal comms, digital comms, a press office, a marketing role or you’re a full one-person-band, you can make a massive difference in the way you help your organisation to drive forward agendas, take a stand and use the right language.
If you would like to learn more, do more or simply listen more, see if there’s a network in your organisation or community and get in touch with them. Otherwise, thank you for all that you do.
“People may forget what you said — but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
—Carl W. Buehner
Hannah Jackson is a senior communications business partner, and LGBTQ+ committee member at NHS Digital. You can say hello on Twitter at @hannahljackson1
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Image via Equality Michigan