Skip to main content

6 Ways to Make a Difference in the LGBTQ+ Community

As an openly queer person, I often get the following question from straight folks: How can I be a better ally to the LGBTQ+ community? It’s a query I don’t mind answering, usually because it’s posed by someone who cares about me and wants to broaden their understanding of my lived experiences. If you’re reading this article, you may very well fall into that category yourself and want to know how you can support the queer people in your own life. 

So, I’ve made you a little list. These tips are by no means exhaustive and it’s worth noting that they’ve been written by someone (read: me) who has a ton of privilege within the community i.e. someone tall, white, able-bodied, educated, and male-passing. Therefore, use these as a jumping-off point for your own research and remember that the LGBTQ+ community is vast, diverse, and far more nuanced than pop culture would have us believe. 

Educate Yourself

Before donating money to queer charities or going to Pride marches, the most important thing you can do is educate yourself on issues pertinent to the community. And not by asking LGBTQ+ folks to explain their experiences to you, but by going online and doing the work yourself. As a queer person, it can be exhausting to educate straight people about things like preferred pronouns, identity erasure, or why X thing is offensive. It’s not that we don’t appreciate being given the space to talk about these things (most of us do!), but it means so much when an ally puts in the effort to meet us halfway. Organizations like GLAAD and the National LGBTQ Task Force make it easy to find these resources. 


But if you do ask your LGBTQ+ friends, peers, or coworkers to explain an experience to you, it’s crucial that you listen. Like, really listen to what they’re saying. True listening is an incredibly hard skill that most people aren’t that good at, but it can make a world of difference when speaking with someone from a marginalized community. Maintain eye contact. Don’t look at your phone, or the time, and don’t interrupt. Take in what they’re saying and believe them — they know and understand their experience way better than you do, even if you consider yourself to be “woke.” 

Talk to Your Friends

Once you’ve educated yourself on important LGBTQ+ issues, and listened to the reflections of those within the community, take your knowledge and share it with your straight friends. Have frank conversations about things you’ve learned and strategize ways you can all be better allies to the queer community. Speaking vulnerably about this topic with your buddies will not only open your eyes to who actually cares about true equity, but will also hold you and your pals accountable for the things you do and say. 

Donate Locally

After laying out this invaluable groundwork, now’s the time to open up your wallet and donate to LGBTQ+ causes, organizations, and charities. But don’t just focus on bigwig national names like the Human Rights Campaign. Instead, do a little research and figure out what LGBTQ+ nonprofits are in your hometown. It’s always a better idea to give money locally; more often than not, these groups aren’t super well-funded and could use all the support they can get. Plus, investing in a local org means you’re investing in your local community, which is key for meaningful allyship. 

Support Queer Businesses

But money doesn’t just have to go to mission-driven organizations — it can also go straight into the hands of LGBTQ+ business owners, artists, writers, designers, restaurateurs, and more! It’s pretty easy to find queer entrepreneurs with a simple Google search, so the next time you need to purchase something specialized, buy it from an LGBTQ+ individual. By doing this, you’re literally helping us to survive, which is a pretty solid ally move. Visit the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce to learn more about how you can support queer businesses! 

Use Your Privilege

Though it may not feel like it when you’re going on awful Tinder dates or just living your normal life with its normal struggles, being straight is a privilege in this world. And by privilege, I just mean that you don’t have to deal with a lot of the BS (i.e. danger, threats, violence) that LGBTQ+ individuals have to deal with on the reg, so use your privilege to support us. Amplify our voices by sharing our writing in your blogs. Join us on the front lines of a protest. Have the awkward and difficult conversations with anti-LGBTQ+ folks that we can’t safely have. Stand up for us and join us in speaking truth to power as we take on the world!

Editors' Recommendations

Cody Gohl
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Cody Gohl is a Brooklyn-based writer who enjoys covering a wide range of topics, including travel, fashion, literature, LGBT…
The 10 best action movies on Amazon Prime that will blow you away
From The Tomorrow War to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, these are the best movies you can watch on Amazon Prime
how to watch the tomorrow war online

There's a reason action movies are so popular. The best action movies can thrill you with a dazzling combination of car chases, fight scenes, and special effects. The best action movies can also, and this is important, be wonderfully dumb. Indeed, the plot of an action movie is typically fairly unimportant, as long as the set pieces that get you from sequence to sequence are compelling enough. If you're looking for some great action, you don't need to look much further than these, which are some of the best action movies on Amazon Prime. Whether your goal is to find something gritty and realistic or something completely silly but joyous nonetheless, Prime has plenty of great movies to choose from.

For more great action movies, you can check out the best action movies on Netflix or the best action movies on Hulu.

Read more
The 11 best Sean Connery movies of all time
These films starring the Scottish actor rise above the rest
best sean connery movies ranked seanconnery1

Connery leans on the classic Bond Aston Martin on the set of Goldfinger.
If you're too young to remember the hype around Sean Connery, ask your parents or grandparents what it was like to be a movie fan during his era of stardom. There wasn't a person on the planet who didn't immediately think of Connery when listing the actors with the biggest screen presence. But what is it that makes this man so incredibly iconic? Could it be because he never changes his voice for movies because “the emotions should be the same, internationally”? Perhaps it’s because of his unique Scottish accent that any novice impersonator is sure to try and mimic. All we know for sure is: Connery’s James Bond is -- for an overwhelming majority -- the best and most memorable of all 007 iterations in history.
Though his big on-screen break was as the devilishly handsome and smooth secret agent, real fans know that Sean Connery was much more than that. Besides being a respectful, earnest, and successful actor, Connery spent his first 25 years -- starting at the age of 7 -- working manual labor jobs and eventually joining the Royal Navy at 16. Truly a man of many hidden talents, he also took dance lessons for 11 years, was offered a soccer contract with Manchester United, and also spent time working as a nude model for art students after being honorably discharged from the military.
There are so many reasons to love the late, great Sir Sean Connery, but we are here to praise him for his most memorable on-screen performances. Yes, James Bond will, of course, be mentioned, but we also bring out the later films in his career that made him so much himself. So mix yourself a vodka martini “shaken, not stirred” and help us celebrate the shining star that was Sean Connery.

Dr. No (1962)

Read more
The best James Bond books by Ian Fleming
Want the thrill of adventure from the safety of your couch? Then crack open any of these James Bond books
best ian fleming james bond books ranked flemming book tour getty images

We all have our favorite version of the iconic British secret agent that is Bond, James Bond. But before we thank Connery or Craig for their on-screen portrayals of the spy, we need to bow to Ian Fleming, a naval intelligence officer turned novelist who gained literary acclaim for being the author of the James Bond books.

He wrote “thrillers designed to be read as literature” and, while publishing over a dozen books, cracked open a world of exotic adventure, ultimate babes, gadgets, and gear, ultimately shaping the spy genre as we know it. When you want to dive into the thrill and adventure of working for the MI6 - while in your pjs on the couch - we've put together a list of Ian Fleming’s best James Bond books, and what makes them live and let die.

Read more