Back to all

How to Be An LGBTQIA+ Ally at Work

LGBTQ Ally At Work

“Coming out” as an LGBTQIA+ ally at the office can be daunting. It’s not easy to stand up for what you believe in and risk being rejected by your peers, even if it’s for a good cause. But being an ally is about more than just standing up for others. It’s about standing up for what you believe in and using your privilege as an opportunity to make a difference.

There are many ways that you can support your fellow coworkers who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community without making them uncomfortable or putting your job at risk. Read on to learn more about being an ally in the workplace, even if you feel nervous doing so.

Understanding The Meaning of Allyship

Allyship is a form of solidarity that involves creating and maintaining a relationship with an oppressed group. Allyship can take many forms, including supporting an organization that supports an oppressed group, donating money to that organization, volunteering for the organization, or taking part in protests or other actions on behalf of the group. Allyship can be particularly important for allies who have privilege, as it can help them understand the perspective of oppressed groups and empathize with their struggles.

Allyship is a key component of social justice work, as it can help marginalized groups build solidarity and increase their visibility. However, allyship isn’t always easy to do. While it’s important to listen to and learn from marginalized groups, it’s also important not to let your own feelings of discomfort get in the way of doing so.

Similarly, while it’s important to be respectful when engaging with marginalized groups, like the LGBTQ community, it’s also important not to let others’ expectations about how you should act get in the way of being yourself.

Finally, allyship is ultimately about creating a space where marginalized groups feel comfortable sharing their perspectives and ideas. By doing so, we can all better understand how systemic oppression affects our community and work together to create change.

What Does It Mean to Be an LGBTQ Ally?

In short, an LGBTQ ally is someone who supports a LGBTQ people. This support can take many forms, including active participation in advocacy, fundraising, volunteering time and educating themselves and others about discrimination issues affecting the LGBTQ community.

Allies can be people who identify as part of the LGBTQ group they are supporting or people who don’t identify with the group but want to support LGBTQ rights. Being an LGBTQ ally is a choice, and it is something that straight people should continue to strive to be, even after they have been accepted by the LGBTQ people as an ally.

How to Be a LGBTQ Ally at Work

The key to being an LGBTQIA+ ally in the workplace is to help create a culture that encourages acceptance and diversity amongst colleagues. Here are some tips for how you can do this:

Make an effort to learn about your LGBTQ coworkers

This can include reading up on the policies your workplace has in place to protect LGBTQ employees and attending educational events hosted by the LGBTQIA+ community.

Be open to having open and respectful conversations about LGBTQ issues

If you are unfamiliar with the language and issues facing the community, you can ask your colleagues how you can better support them.

Celebrate pronouns and the identities of your LGBTQ colleagues

This can include things like setting up a space at work where people can bring in pride items, encouraging inclusion of gay and transgender people, or supporting an event hosted by LGBTQ people, and supporting the use of pronouns.

Be mindful of what you say

By practicing mindfulness, you can become more aware of the impact that your words have on others. This can help you to be more considerate of others and to avoid causing offense or making people feel uncomfortable. If you are not sure how your words could be received, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Confronting Microaggressions and Discriminatory Behaviors in a Work Environment

If you witness your colleagues engaging in discriminatory or microaggressive behavior, do not be afraid to confront them. It is true that some people may be offended by your words, but if you truly want to create a safe and inclusive workplace for your LGBTQIA+ coworkers, you must be brave enough to confront harmful behaviors head-on.

If you are not sure what constitutes a microaggression or discriminatory behavior, there are many online resources that can help. Be mindful that confronting your coworkers may put you in a difficult situation and make you feel uncomfortable. If you are worried about the way you will be received by your coworkers, consider speaking with your human resources department before you confront anyone.

Help Develop Internal Programs for Employees of All Identities

If your company does not have any internal programs for its LGBTQIA+ employees, it is your responsibility as an ally to advocate for their creation. This can be as simple as bringing up the topic in a meeting with your manager or presenting the idea to your company’s leadership team. You can also reach out to LGBTQIA+ employees who are already part of your workplace to ask them what they would like to see in terms of programs and initiatives.


Being an ally is a great way to use your privilege for good and support your fellow LGBTQIA+ coworkers. But being an ally does not mean that you must reveal your sexual orientation or gender identity at work or that you should be the person to speak out in every situation. The point of being an ally is to support your LGBTQIA+ coworkers while also learning from them and striving to be a better person.

If you are ever unsure of how to support your LGBTQIA+ coworkers or what they would like you to do or say, simply ask them. You may be surprised by how open and helpful they are to your questions and curiosity.

Write a comment Close
Only registered users can leave comments.