Allies are important to the LGBTIQQ Community, and there are many LGBTQA groups on campuses throughout the country. Allies help others understand the importance of equality, fairness, acceptance and mutual respect.
Getting Involved as an Ally
Educating Yourself as an AllyHere are some helpful ways to be an ally to the LGBTIQQ Community. To learn more about the LGBTIQQ community come to a LGBTQ Center event or visit the Links section on the left.
Five Simple Ways To Be An Ally to Transgender People
Don't Judge a Book by Its Cover - Refer to a trans person by the gender pronoun (e.g. he, she, her, him) and gendered terms (e.g. Sir, Ma'am, man, woman, father, girlfriend) that he or she (or zie*) prefers, not based whether the trans person passes convincingly to you as a man or a woman. If you are not sure, ask and respect the answer. Never call a trans person it or thing; this is degrading and dehumanizing. *Note: Zie (pronounced zee) is a third gender English pronoun preferred by some people who don’t identify as men or women. The possessive form is hir (pronounced heer).
Silence is the voice of complicity. - Elie Wiesel - When you hear people making fun of transgender people, break the silence. Challenge their hurtful and abusive behavior.
A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. - Shakespeare - Never ask a trans person to tell you his or her “real” or birth-assigned name. If he or she wishes to share this information, respect this confidence and don’t repeat it to others without specific permission. A trans person’s “real” name is the one that the trans person chooses to use now. Resist the urge to mention a trans person’s “old name” and gender when discussing him or her with others outside of his or her presence. Don’t disclose a person’s experience, past, or identity as trans to a third party without permission.
Treat others as you would like to be treated - It is extremely rude to ask trans people intimate questions about our genitalia, past-gender name, or surgical status. Would you want casual acquaintances to ask you about the size of your sex organ or whether you shave your genital region?
Biology is not always destiny - Don’t judge a trans person’s validity as a man or a woman based on whether or not he or she has had medical intervention or one of the various sex affirmation surgeries available. A trans person may not have had medical intervention due to religion, financial, or personal reasons. Don’t assume a person is less of a “real” man or woman if he or she has chosen not to take hormones or have surgery at this time.
Ten Way to be an Ally for LGBTIQQ Students, Faculty and Staff
Thanks to the work of the URI GLBT Center, the University of Rhode Island was named in The Advocate College Guide for LGBT Students!