As a nurse staffing agency, we believe that the word “support” holds valuable meaning. Advanced Home Care Solutions specializes in providing professional, compassionate care and with that comes a great deal of social responsibility. In honour of Pride Month, we’re going to take a few minutes to discuss the process and importance of becoming an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. In such a divisive world, we should all aim to prioritize acceptance, togetherness and identity affirmation. The best way to provide support is through education and learning to understand the experience of someone other than yourself. This is how we are able to empathize and ultimately foster a more peaceful, open environment. It is how progress is made.
What Does It Mean to Be an Ally?
Allyship is a commitment to stand in support of and help to build metaphorical bridges with and alongside those who are part of marginalized groups. It means standing up for and giving a platform to those voices that are spoken over and spoken for. But more specifically, being an ally means to simply show up. And there are many ways to show up and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.
Let’s get into it…
If you want to find ways to support to those who identify as LGBTQ+, start by getting educated. Learn the basic terms, acronyms and identification language. This demonstrates a fundamental respect and care for normalizing and incorporating this language into mainstream society. For example, offering your pronouns during introductions can be a good icebreaker and a great way of letting the other party know that you are an ally. It helps to initiate a safe space and encourage openness.
Practice raising awareness of LGBTQ+ related issues and show your steadfast support by engaging with these issues and dismantling prejudice.
Listen and learn from the experiences of those who identify as LGBTQ+. It’s okay not to know everything – but a willingness to learn about issues that you aren’t familiar with is a cornerstone of allyship. Recognize your own bias, and try to always maintain an open mind and critical thinking. As humans, we tend to attack social and political issues from our own perspective, instead of branching outside our own experience. Practice adopting someone else’s frame of mind and truly give life to “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes”. This can help to bridge the gap to understanding and foster common ground.
Respect others’ privacy and remind yourself that this is not your journey – it’s theirs. If someone confides in you about their identity, do not presume to repeat any information that is disclosed. Just listen, and provide validating support.
Be an ally in moments of injustice, even if not in the presence of anyone who openly identifies as LGBTQ+. If someone makes derogatory comments, speak up – and the more you do, the more comfortable you will become in using your voice to advocate for others.
From all of us at AHCS, we hope everyone has a wonderful Pride Month, and know that we celebrate each and every one of you!