How to be an Ally

It is never too late or too early to start to learn about being an Ally. It starts with listening and learning, speaking up and being supportive.

How to start a conversation

Watch this videos first, then watch it together. The goal is help you create a safe space for respectful curiosity, acceptance and understanding.

How can you and your family become better Allies?

  • Create a home where respectful curiosity is encouraged
  • Look for opportunities to learn about people that are different from you and their experiences- books are great for learning to help you be a better Ally
  • Learning the proper terminology and what they mean can build your confidence as an Ally
  • You never stop being an ally. Sometimes you make mistakes- that’s OK. Apologize and move on
  • Discuss the importance of accepting and understanding people, regardless of their differences
  • Learning to understand how somebody else is feeling is the first step in developing compassion and kindness
  • Talk about the importance of listening- listening is a great way to learn about other people’s feeling
  • Watch your words. Recognize the way you talk about 2SLGBTQ+ people sends a very clear message to your children about your level of acceptance.
  • Talk about examples of how you can stand up for someone- speak up when you hear someone putting down or making fun of someone for being different; find an adult and let them know what happened; or even comfort the person being made fun of.
  • Attend a local Pride event- show your support and learn more about being an Ally

Here are some terms you should know and understand to become a better Ally:


  • An umbrella term used for people whose gender identity is not in harmony with their birth assignment, either wholly or partially, or who experience their gender identity as radically different from what is expected of a “man” or “woman.”
  • It includes but is not limited to people who identify as transgender, trans woman, trans man, transsexual, cross-dresser, gender non-conforming, gender variant or gender queer.
  • There are many communities that live under this umbrella and there is no single or universal experience of what it means to be trans.


  • Used to describe people whose gender identity is in harmony with the sex assigned to them at birth.


  •  A cultural and spiritual identity used by some First Nations peoples to describe having both masculine and feminine spirits. It can include people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans or intersex.


  • A person born with biological and/or physical characteristics that are not easily categorized by medical practitioners as male or female. Intersex people are often assigned as either male or female at birth. Some intersex people identify with their assigned sex, while others do not.


    An umbrella term for gender identities that fall outside of the man-woman binary.


  • Formerly a derogatory slang term used to identify LGBT people. Some members of the LGBT community have reclaimed the word as a proud identifier when speaking among and about themselves.


  • A period where a person explores their own sexual and/or gender identity, reflecting on such things as upbringing, expectations from others, and inner landscape.

To listen to some great stories about acceptance and understanding,
check out the Rainbow Optimist “Drag Storytime”: