Our unicorn is going purple in honor of Spirit Day (October 19th). We stand against bullying and in support of LGBTQIA+ youth.
It’s no secret: there is a shortage in compassion, caring and love in today’s world. From outward displays of hate rallies, to shootings in widely populated areas and even to person on person shaming, there is a clear need for a change. In our current social climate, when biases and prejudices can be too prevalent, it is even more important to show outward love and support whenever possible.
And this is within the mass, wider population. LGBTQIA+ youth and adults often have it much worse.
Caring and simply having open arms can go a long way, especially in the lives of the LBGTQIA+ community. But what does it mean to show your support? To be an ally? Or to be a friend? There are multiple avenues and actions that one can take. According to GLAAD research, 12% of the total population identifies as LGBTQIA+. I encourage you to continue seeking out additional resources to take action and learn more on how to be an ally to the community - a few ideas are highlighted below:
1) Be inclusive. Don’t assume that your friends and coworkers have it easy. Anyone could be going through a difficult time in their life, whether that is coming out or experiencing a transition, and showing outward love and support for them could mean the difference between life and death.
2) Confront your own prejudices and biases. Even if you aren’t actively expressing them, prejudices can lurk around any corner, and while it’s uncomfortable to do so, confronting them is important.
3) Be willing to listen and talk. Just having an open heart and open mind ready to help in any way can move mountains.
4) Get involved. Transform allyship into action by supporting local LGBTQIA+ resource centers and health facilities. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 20% of homeless youth identify as LGBTQIA+. Research local centers to see what types of items are needed – it could range from monetary contributions to supplies like clothing & hygiene items.
At the end of the day, being an LGBTQIA+ ally and supporter is all about openness, inclusivity and caring. A little love goes a long way and will move mountains in the landscape of their life.