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How to be a proud ally

Small and meaningful ways to show your support to the LGBTQ+ community

In Asia, the Philippines is known to be one of the most friendly and accepting countries to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Filipino LGBTQ+ individuals have carved their own space and are highly respected in politics, business, sports, entertainment, the arts, and many more.  

However, when it comes to interacting with them, many of us are still unsure of what to do or how to act. More so when they find the courage to come out and speak their truth to us. 

The answer has always been simple: The same kindness, compassion, and understanding that we shower everyone we hold dear is all that’s needed to show your support, promote belongingness, and overcome assumptions and biases.    

Love unconditionally, protect fiercely, and give your support generously to everyone—regardless of sex, gender, identity, and expression—so that they feel safe enough to show and embrace their true selves. That’s what it means to be an LGBTQ+ ally. 

Here we share other small and meaningful ways you can be a better ally to show your support to LGBTQ+ individuals in your life, especially those who have recently found the courage to come out. 

 

1.    Ask Questions and Listen

Our LGBTQ+ friends and family deal with issues and challenges that make them feel unsafe, unheard, and marginalized—from homophobia to discrimination at the workplace and more.

Some of these issues we are not aware of, so set aside time to have an honest conversation with your friend and loved one, and listen to their personal experiences. Educate yourself, too, and learn about the important issues that affect them.

 

2.   Address Your Shortcomings

Being an ally also means reevaluating and addressing our own unconscious biases, stereotypes, and assumptions that may harm our LGBTQ+ friends. Have you ever automatically gendered someone because of the way they look and behave? Have you ever made assumptions because of someone’s sexual orientation?

We may not have intended to hurt others at that moment, but we should be responsible for what we say and do. Let us be more mindful of our words and actions and how they affect others.

 

3.   Be Inclusive

Often, LGBTQ+ individuals feel isolated in their struggles, so welcome them and make them feel heard and seen. Ask for their opinions in conversations that require a broader understanding; their unique experiences can lend important insight.

In addition, ask for their preferred pronouns and use these when addressing them. This simple gesture does so much already to help them feel recognized and included. If you’re unsure of their pronouns, you can ask respectfully or use gender-neutral terms such as “partner” (instead of “girlfriend/ boyfriend” or “husband/ wife”) and be mindful during conversation. 

 

4.   Stand Up and Speak Up

Use your voice to protect and empower others. Did someone slide an offensive comment at your coworker? Are they making an inappropriate joke at the expense of your LGBTQ+ loved one? Speak up to educate others on how everyone should be treated equally and with respect.

Taking a stand or speaking out requires courage, but an ally is always willing to do what is right for those who are treated unfairly.

 

5.   Be Visible

Being an ally is more about action than just a label. Your support for the LGBTQ+ community in your daily interactions is well-appreciated, but you can take it a step further and be a loud and proud supporter, helping the LGBTQ+ community on a larger scale. Join the fight and use your privilege to help LGBTQ with their rights.

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