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10 ways to be a LGBTQ+ ally in Pride Month and beyond

June 2023: This month, White & Case is celebrating Global Pride Month around the world. We've asked our LGBTQ+ colleagues and friends for ten ideas about how allies can show their support and take effective action.

1. Be visible in your allyship
Wear a LGBTQ+ lanyard in the office, change your screensaver, add a flag or a sticker to your bumper, bike or backpack. Share news of Pride celebrations and events with your own network, show up to a roundtable or discussion event to learn about current issues, and mark the progress that others have made. Actions like this send a strong signal of support that doesn't go unnoticed.

2. Mind your language
Gay, queer, cis, non-binary or trans? Listen to how someone describes themself and mirror their language. Remember that while LGBTQ+ people have always existed, language and concepts around gender and sexuality are always evolving. Be open to new ideas and terms, learn about what has changed and why it matters.

3. Add your pronouns
Introducing yourself with your pronouns, or adding them to your email signature or social profiles, makes it easier for everyone to do the same.

4. Be mindful about "outing" people
Making someone feel comfortable about expressing their sexuality or gender identity doesn't mean drawing attention to it. Take your lead from the person.

5. Call out homophobic, biphobic or transphobic behaviour
If you hear comments or jokes that are homophobic, biphobic or transphobic, call the speaker out. Everyone can and should play their part in bringing about cultural change.

6. Don't make assumptions
... about someone's gender or sexuality. Use inclusive language; for example, "partner" instead of "husband/wife," or "friends and guests" instead of "ladies and gentlemen." If you're unsure about how to address someone, ask them politely how they'd like to be addressed.

7. Demonstrate your support
Think of effective allyship as more of a verb than a noun. Write to your MP or local government representative about issues that affect LGBTQ+ people, support an LGBTQ+ charity through a financial donation, sign a petition or volunteer your services in another way. Amplify and celebrate LGBTQ+ people's successes, for example in sport, in business or in your own network.

8. Educate yourself
Books, podcasts, social media and more: Explore and understand the history of LGBTQ+ people and the issues that matter to them today. While some of us may be happy to assist, it's not the responsibility of LGBTQ+ people to educate you on something that you can learn for yourself.

9. Come to a workplace event
During Global Pride Month, White & Case's global LGBTQ+ Spectrum networks organizes events and awareness-raising seminars, focusing on the challenges that many still face today and what allies can do to express support. We'll also be marking Pride with celebration events to mark the progress that we've made and the contribution to society that the LGBTQ+ community continue to make. But don't just limit your engagement with the LGBTQ+ community to Pride Month—we'll be hosting events and discussions throughout the year for all allies to attend!

10. ... or join in a Pride party
Pride parties and parades are colourful, friendly and lively events. They're a chance to reflect on the history of LGBTQ+ people, remember those who paved the way for others, and a chance to celebrate the individuality, uniqueness and positivity of the LGBTQ+ community. Have fun and celebrate Pride!