North Shore Pride hosted a community forum on Thursday, August 27 titled Violence Against the Transgender Community. During the forum, the panelists discussed action items for allies – individuals who want to support the Transgender individuals in their communities.
These action items include:
- Check Your Biases
- See Something, Say Something
- Do Your Homework
- Do What You Can
- Support Transgender Experiences
We have been posting a series of Blog posts centered around these topics. This week we’re discussing why it’s important to do what you can when it comes to allyship, recognizing that some allies – because of diverse abilities, privilege, and financial status – will be able to do more than others.
Action Items for Allies: Do What You Can
It’s easy to get caught up in the mindset that if you can’t do everything, then why bother? Being an ally means that even if you can only do one thing, you ought to do that one thing. Every action that allies perform brings LGBTQ+ community members closer to solving the challenges they face on a daily basis. Doing what you can means that if you can do a lot, do a lot, but if you can only do a few things, do those few things. Every little bit helps, and everyone has a role to play.
We all have different experiences, energy levels, and capacities. For some allies, it makes sense for them to donate money, attend protests, and speak up for their Transgender friends, family members, and coworkers. For others, financial situations and diverse abilities could prevent them from being able to donate to LGBTQ+ non-profits or attend rallies and protests.
Allyship means doing what you can when you can, because anything helps.
- Listen and learn about Transgender experiences – this could include checking out books from the library, reading firsthand accounts online, or watching web series and documentaries about gender and LGBTQ+ issues
- Create and hold space for Transgender individuals – this could include helping to monitor Transgender safe spaces online or normalizing the use of pronouns in every day conversations and digitial communication
- Confront your own built in biases – All people regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation, should be treated with dignity and respect. Thinking about the ways that your perceptions and behaviors can impact Trans individuals is one of the best ways to be an ally.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed when thinking about how to become a good ally, but doing what you can, when you can is all that anyone can ask for. The essential takeaway is don’t do nothing, but you don’t need to do everything, just do what you can.