A friendly working environment is a basic need for everyone. The LGBTQ community, too, needs an environment that they feel comfortable with and can offer their best while still maintaining happiness. Being a better LGBTQ+ ally is an excellent choice because you end up making them feel accepted, which creates a safer work environment.
One of the ways to become the best ally for LGBTQ+ coworkers is to ensure that the office practices inclusivity in all its activities. Combining such actions with the following points will make workplaces the best for LGBTQ+ workers.
Acquire more knowledge about the LGBTQ+ community
One beautiful thing about living or working with people is understanding them. Having extensive knowledge about the LGBTQ+ community will help you understand their nature. It will also help you educate other colleagues to have an acceptable attitude towards your minority coworkers.
When you have questions or specific things you need to know, it is wise to do your research. Another excellent way to learn is to engage in conversations and, politely, try to clarify the things you don’t understand.
Mind your language
Language is a very powerful tool when it comes to showing love or hurting. Many jokes are humorous, yet end up hurting people. A quick call-aside can help remedy the situation without shame, but it’s important to call out hurtful language.
Whenever unfavorable situations arise, it is best to stand up for them and work towards a solution rather than blaming them. When engaging in their conversations, the best thing is to participate actively and make them feel more acceptable, understood, and loved.
Take action and support
If there is a situation where your LGBTQ+ coworker has been discriminated against, be an ally. Use your straight privilege to help stand up for them. If you witness a colleague or boss intentionally mistreat a member of LGBTQ+ community, it is an excellent choice to stand up for them and express your condemnation to the action.
Be accountable and real
It is a fact that there are queer people in your workplace. Show empathy for them and understand the situation they are in. Admit where you lack the knowledge and work closely with them to have a better understanding.
If you accidentally say something unacceptable or offensive, you have to ensure that you apologize. Before you speak, it is best if you think about the words you use.
Not every LGBTQ+ person you meet is going to be the same, just like not every cis-gender or straight person you meet is going to be the same.
About the Author:
Judy Bokao is 20 years old and was born in Ethiopia but relocated to Nairobi two years ago. She is passionate about everyone having equal rights and is also big on conservation and speaking up for our planet. Judy loves reading and photography and is just a free-spirited young lady trying to grow into a woman her mom can be proud of.