Traveling while queer is all about fun and discovery, as it is for our straight friends. But as you might imagine, not everyone is LGBT friendly and that’s exactly why we need a queer ally. If you are gay-friendly and would like to be a queer ally to the LGBT community and queer travelers everywhere, keep reading to find out how to do it!
How to be a queer ally
Let us know you’re cool with it, but don’t overdo it!
Ok! Being a queer ally, this tip could go both ways. Of course, we’ve heard hundreds of people tell us how cool and awesome lesbians are. Sometimes there’s another feeling between the lines, and it’s not a feeling we particularly like. It’s not that hard to see the difference between a real compliment and a horny suggestion. So be cool with it, not hot!
Let us have our space
We know it’s a sign of acceptance that straight people visit queer places. So thank you very much for that! But our LGBT community kinda created these places to be able to be our self and be among other like-minded people in a safe environment. Even though we appreciate your support, we also like our privacy. After a while, it can get pretty boring to hear how cute lesbian couples are and how acceptant of lesbians you really are.
Stand by our side
I remember the best queer ally experience we’ve had very vividly. A guy from Germany had already let us know he was cool with us and we decided to have a beach party away from town. When a straight guy started hitting on Lobke quite offensively, he decided to be her bodyguard for the rest of the night. Very heroic and it gave Lobke a safer feeling. It’s not the only time people have taken their stand for us, so here’s a big thank you to the queer allies we’ve met in the past!
Understand who we are
We’re just like you! We only happen to be attracted to people, oh just like straight people. Beyond the rules of some big religions and governments, we fall in love with people of the same gender, or a different gender. It doesn’t really matter. Love is love!
Bear with us
Be a supporter who encourages us and helps us. Love us like we love you and stand by our side. But be careful not to cross boundaries. It’s still our LGBT community and no matter how much you care about us, you will never fully understand what it’s like for us. We do need your help, but we need to lead this quest for acceptance. You help us most by being a great friend and standing up for us when we need it.
Stop the binary thinking
I know it’s difficult to wrap your mind around gender nonconform people, but it’s exactly the same when it’s happening to yourself. It’s confusing and it’s totally ok not to understand it. It’s not a fact that only binaries are human or normal. Let people have their own lives and choices and don’t judge these. These are issues we can not change and it is who we are. Nobody is judging you by the color of your eyes or your shoe size, because it doesn’t really matter. The same goes for gender identity. This person is still the person they were before, no matter which gender they are, want to be or will be.
How not to be a queer ally
Don’t tell us about how we didn’t meet the right guy yet
You’re probably the right guy, but you’re barking up the wrong girl. We’re not interested in converting and we didn’t become queer overnight. It happens more than we would like that straight men are hitting on us or trying to convince us of their values and talents. We’re not interested…
Don’t hit on us
We don’t want to be converted. If we wanted that we’d just pay a lot of money to some weird doctor who will heal us in an hour. It’s not actually a disease we want or need rescuing from. We’re happy the way things are. Many of us have had enough time to do some testing with men we do find attractive. Don’t assume you’re the golden boy who’s going to make us better with his magic wand. You’re probably not.
Don’t invite us for a threesome
It’s not our job to make horny fantasies of men to come true. Even if a threesome or foursome with your own partner is your wet dream, that doesn’t mean you should let go of all normal boundaries and try to convince us about how good it will be. If we want that, we will find it on our own. Queer people can still live a monogamous life, even if the erotic department of your local video store says differently.
Don’t call us faggots or dykes or…
Know your language and our language. Using words that don’t feel like insults to you, might be an insult to someone else. I know, all this politically correct stuff and knowing that people are easily insulted these days, that’s a tricky one. Well, it shouldn’t be. It’s actually common sense. I don’t personally get offended very easy and words are just words. Hearing an acquaintance calling us ‘trannies’ didn’t bother me at all, it was the way he said it. The way that makes you feel like you deficient or defective and makes them feel better about their ‘normal’ life.
Don’t be a bystander
When other people call us faggots or dykes, don’t just stand there! Speak up to show you’re an ally. If we want this world to become a better place, we need to speak up to people who spread hate. Saying nothing will only encourage them to believe their world and righteousness even more. They need to know they’re wrong and probably need some education about the matter as well.
Don’t say we’re all about drama with our gay pride
I’ve heard people say that queer people are all about the drama and the gay pride has become useless. They’re not against us personally, so everything is fine. Pride protests and celebrations are all about equality and tolerance all over the world. Saying we don’t need pride protest anymore is like denying all the crimes against LGBT in the past and right now. Countries are still passing laws that encourage LGBT discrimination and gay people are murdered and harassed everywhere in the world.
Don’t say your country is all gay friendly
First of all, if you’re not gay yourself, you probably haven’t encountered hate crimes and snappy insults for loving another person. How sure can you be that your promised land is all gay-friendly? Because you didn’t experience it and don’t do it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Even those countries who have laws to our advantage and support our marriage, still have dangerous streets and haters. LGBT hate crime is everywhere and we need your help to stop it!
Don’t expect a trophy
Don’t get me wrong! We’re so glad you want to help out. But we must admit that that is actually just common sense and right behavior. The rainbow flag that stands for Ally is a beautiful example of this. Why do you need a specific flag to show you’re an ally. Are you afraid that if you carry a regular rainbow flag, people will think you’re gay? The ally flag shows that you’re a hero for supporting the LGBT community.
Being an ally is all about helping us fight against discrimination. The LGBT community is a minority group that has been fighting to gain rights for ages. Even though we have made a lot of progress over the years, we still feel discrimination every day and newspapers are full of reports of hate crimes. If you are an ally, speak up when you hear someone say horrible things about the LGBT community. A lot of work has already be done, but there is so much more to do. And we’d love for you to help! Read more posts about LGBT travel and gender nonconform travel.