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How to be an LGBT+ ally in Pride Month and beyond

June 2022: This month, White & Case is celebrating Global Pride Month around the world. Here are ten ideas for LGBT+ allies who want to show their support and take effective action for their LGBT+ colleagues and friends.

1. Be visible in your allyship
Wear a rainbow 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. These may seem like small things, but they 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 LGBT+ people have always existed, language and concepts around gender and sexuality are always evolving, so 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 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 LGBT+ people, support an LGBT+ charity through a financial donation, sign a petition or volunteer your services in another way. Amplify and celebrate LGBT+ people's successes, for example in sport, in business or in your personal network.

8. Educate yourself
Books, podcasts, social media and more: Explore and understand the history of LGBT+ people and the issues that matter to them today. While some of us may be happy to assist, don't consider it the responsibility of LGBT+ 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 LGBT+ Spectrum network is organising 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 LGBT+ community continue to make.

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 LGBT+ people, remember those who paved the way for others, and a chance to celebrate the individuality, uniqueness and positivity of the LGBT+ community. Have fun and celebrate Pride!