It’s 2019. We all know that being an ally is the only place to be for communities that are marginalised. But, being an ally is so much more than wearing a rainbow sequin skirt at Pride, or taking your mate to their first gay bar.
Yeah, that’s still pretty good, and probably a whole lot more than what would have gone down when your parents were young, but we can always do better.
This Anti-Bullying Week we are taking you on a journey through your unconscious bias (and if you don’t know what that is you can find out here).
Turns out a big part of unconscious bias is a thing called a microaggression. That’s basically saying something that, in the grand scheme of insulting, isn’t actually that bad, but it can still be pretty rough to hear them all the time if you are gay. It also means that a lot of stereotypes are still alive and strong.
That’s why we have come up with a cheats guide to what not to say so you aren’t throwing microaggressions around the place like dirty socks on your mums clean carpet.
1) “But you don’t seem gay”
This kind of implies that all LGB+ people fit a certain ‘type’ which of course they don’t. In the same way that every straight person has all the things that make up their personality and what they like and dislike, it is literally no different.
2) “You can be my gay best friend”
Unless you earn somebody’s friendship, you don’t have any right to it, especially if that’s based purely on their sexuality. Get to know someone, and if it’s a friend who has come out to you, just think about the kind of pressure you are putting on them to behave a certain way.
3) “I love gay people”
Urrrrrr cool. It’s great that you do, and that you want to be an ally, but people are a lot more than their sexuality. Love them for that stuff too.
4) “That’s so gay”
No it’s not. Please stop.
5) “Can’t you make up your mind?”
Reserved for bisexual people mostly, this one needs to be cancelled asap. Making your mind up has nothing to do with it. It’s not like we’re choosing between two different jumpers over here.
6) “It’s just a phase”
Ugh. No. Nobody’s sexuality is a phase. End of sentence.
7) “Prove it”
No one is a performing monkey. Why don’t you prove you’re straight and see where it gets you?
8) “You’re too pretty to be a lesbian.”
“I’m so sorry for the inconvenience caused to you by the fact that I am conventionally good looking and not into your gender” said no one ever.
9) “Who’s the man/woman in the relationship”
For real, in 2019 do we really need to keep comparing everything against heterosexual relationship roles? Not even that, but like super outdated ones. Guys can be sensitive, women can be powerful. Get with the times guys, because we are not here for this.
10) “I know a gay person/my friends gay too”
“Oh do you? That’s great! I probably know them because ya know, we all have a secret club where we all congregate and discuss this shit”
11) “But won’t I get hit on in a gay bar?”
Dude for real? Just because you might hang out with people who happen to like your gender, it does not make you instantly irresistible.
12) “You’re just doing it for attention”
A huge amount of the attention that LGB+ people get is negative. Why would anyone want to put themselves in that position unless they were doing it so they can live like their true selves?
Want to know what people think about LGBT+ issues today? You can read our Annual Bullying Survey in full here.
Need to talk to someone about your sexuality, bullying or anything that might be bothering you? You can speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors here for confidential support and advice.