Circle III: Community
Let’s focus our lens to introduce more about locations and specifics.
Being an ally to and for the LGBTQ community on campus, at work, and elsewhere can be hard work, but is worthwile for those socially marginalized individuals, for all of us.
- Money matters. Be conscious of supporting LGBTQ friendly places, and avoid supporting those that practice social and financial discrimination. See the Human Rights Campaign’s website for information on LGBT-supportive corporations (from How to Be an Ally to LGBT People).
Also, try to support places with gender-neutral restrooms.
Even ask where they are located, to let businesses and community members know there is a need.
- At work, or anywhere for that matter, remember the correct terms and language.
- Don’t tolerate “jokes” or language that is offensive or harmful to marginalized individuals.
- Keep in mind the very personal aspect behind the statistics of marginalization:
Homeless, poverty, lack of healthcare, and AIDS overwhelmingly affect this large group of marginalized folks and their family members.
A full report of statistics can be seen here:
Tidal Wave: LGBT Poverty and Hardship in a Time of Economic Crisis from Queers for Economic Justice.
- Furthermore, in Activism work, which is especially crucial to me, remember to maintain three strategies that the authors of Building an Abolitionist Trans* and Queer Movement With Everything We’ve Got write about. (By Morgan Bassichis, Alexander Lee, and Dean Spade.)
1. Refuse to create or support a deserving/good and undeserving/bad categories for victims. As a popular slogan says, “There is no war, but class war.” We are all victims of the same oppressive system.
2. Support strategies that weaken oppressive systems and not strengthen them. Being intentful and responsible with our financial and time contributions can go a long way.
3. Recognize the biases that affect our own work, no matter how well-intentioned it may seem. Brainstorm, implement and support strategies that benefit all of us and do not force another individual to assimilate to the larger cause.
Social justice should be about liberation for everyone. The ends don’t justify the means.
Introduction: Being Queer