How to be an LGBTQ Ally

Ally Checklist:

Learn: Allies educate themselves [adapted from Egale Human Rights Trust, Pocket Inclusion Guide]

  • I make the effort to educate myself about LGBTQ issues
  • I source out LGBTQ community events and supports and I take steps to connect children and youth to them. 
  • I listen respectfully to the experiences and perspectives of LGBTQ children and youth. 
  • I validate them for having the courage to talk about themselves and I affirm how they see and express themselves. 
  • I understand that each child is unique and I will never fully understand their experience.

Practice: Allies take action

  • I intervene when someone is using offensive language. I say “that’s offensive” and explain how.
  • I speak up when I see practices, policies and procedures that create barriers for LGBTQ children and youth.
  • I recognize when make mistakes and offend someone. I apologize for being insensitive or uneducated on LGBTQ matters. I express appreciation for the courage it takes to point it out to me.

Practice: Allies are supportive

  • I talk with LGBTQ children and youth about their LGBTQ identity. I ask questions and pay attention to the impact of asking and assess whether the young person wants to talk about it. I don’t press.
  • I stay connected with the LGBTQ community, attend events.
  • I ask regularly about the school experience and listen carefully for indications of bullying or harassment.
  • I talk with clergy and help faith communities accept and include LGBTQ people.

Reflect: Allies consider their actions

  • I am open feedback.
  • I want to be sensitive and  informed about what it means to be LGBTQ
  • I think about how privilege works – including my own
  • I observe the way other people act as allies.

The Importance of Respect: Pronouns by Choice

There are more than two pronouns in the new normal of language. Allies show respect by using the gender pronouns with which a person identifies. Ask - how do you want to be identified, or, how do you identify yourself? Avoid making assumptions based on dress or behaviour. Using a person’s correct pronoun signals respect.

See: Gender Pronouns 



Gender isn’t a binary – male or female, one or the other. In many cases it is both/and… a bit of this and a dash of that.

The importance of respect: understanding gender is not sex or sexuality

Gender identity and sexual preferences are not set in stone. In fact, they can be quite fluid and changing from day to day.

See: 5 Things to Know about being Queer by Marissa Higgins.

The Genderbread Person is a tool that shows the relationship of gender, biological sex and sexual orientation in the body, Locating them in this way can help to spark conversations with young people trying to make sense of their thoughts and feelings.

See: genderbread person

Further Reading & Resources