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Diversity

50+ Resources For LGBTQIA Allies

When I asked the Buffer team for their ideas for commemorating June’s Pride Month, the overwhelming response was that we all wanted to find, collect and share more resources to educate ourselves and do the work.

Within the team, we began asking for and sharing links and resources on how to be better allies, traded names and lists of LGBTQIA leaders to help diversify their social feeds, and vowed to focus on our own self-education in order to keep from adding more emotional labor onto already overburdened communities.

Learning about the experiences and history of LGBTQIA people is one of the most important ways to understand the issues that are affecting our friends, teammates, community and customers. It’s not the responsibility of LGBTQIA people to educate straight folks.

So the resource list below is our attempt to share some of what’s helping us dig deeper into our LGBTQIA allyship: books, blogs, videos, and movies to reference; a variety of social media voices to learn from, and vocabulary lists and resources to educate ourselves with. Whether you’re new to all of this or deep into your work, I hope some of these resources might be helpful.

And we want to hear what’s on your list, too! Please add more resources in the comments so we can all keep learning together.

First, a brief history of Pride

Although Pride might seem like a month of parades and glitter these days, its origins are far from celebratory. The first Pride rally occurred a month after the Stonewall riots in 1969.

A well-known gay bar, Stonewall was a safe space for drag queens, trans folk and the LGTBQ community. Back then, police raids on gay bars were happening so frequently that many thought they were trying to extinguish gay nightlife altogether.

But 50 years ago this June, during another typical night of police persecution, Stonewall patrons fought back – and created a watershed moment for the queer movement in the United States. On the one-year anniversary of the riots, events held to commemorate the riot became the first spark of what would become Pride.

Today, Pride events commemorate the history of the LGBTQIA social movement and mark an opportunity for the community to come together. Celebration is a big part of it, but it’s key to remember the activism and bravery that started it all.

OK, so what exactly is LGBTQIA?

LGBTQIA is an acronym that collectively refers to individuals who identify as in any of the following ways:

  • lesbian
  • gay
  • bisexual
  • transgender
  • queer
  • intersex
  • asexual

A more complete acronym is LGBTQQIAAP: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transexual, queer, questioning, intersex, ally, asexual, and pansexual:

An even more comprehensive (though still not exhaustive) acronym is LGBTQQIP2SAA: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer, intersex, pansexual, two-spirit (2S), androgynous, and asexual. Here’s a more detailed explanation:

A growing movement lobbies for dropping the rapidly growing acronym and replacing it with the umbrella term GSM, standing for “gender and sexual minorities.”

Clearly there many options to collectively refer to this large and diverse community – and of course, differences of opinion. In the end, it’s not about using the perfect acronym, but it is about trying to respect all people with our language.

LGBTQIA Vocabulary Lists

Anxious about saying the wrong thing? Lots of us talk as little as possible about issues of sexuality and gender expression identity because we’re worried about messing it all up.

These glossaries can help make conversations easier and help all of us acquire the language to be as respectful and accurate as possible with our language.

A quick caveat: Vocabulary is evolving rapidly in these areas, and definitions can often vary across communities and individuals!

Source: Progressive Style Guide

Some great starting-place videos for allies

Twitter lists

Adding different voices to your social media following can be a great way to break out of your filter bubble. This great Twitter thread from Marco Rogers is a great primer on how to make it happen. Or check out the lists below:

Instagram lists

Instagram is increasingly a great place to go to get a view into perspectives outside your own. Here are some places to start:

Resource lists

General LGBTQ resources

Trans-specific resources

Ally-specific resources

Books and movies lists

Ready to dive deeper? Here are some book lists to deepen your journey as an ally.

The organization Straight for Equality has 3 reading lists for different journeys into allyship:

Hachett’s Essential Reading on the LGBTQ Journey

Essential Reading on the LGBTQ Journey

Penguin/Random House’s Ultimate LGBTQIA+ Pride Book List

And to round things out, Straight for Equality’s 3 levels of movie lists:

Over to you

I learned a lot while researching this list (I personally still have a lot to learn about the history of the movement) , and I hope some of this information will be helpful to you, too.

We want to hear what’s on your list, too! Please add your favorite resources in the comments so we can all keep learning together!

  • Debbie Higham Wood

    I love this article! The more resources the better! And when in doubt, always ask the person with whom you are interacting what language makes them feel most comfortable :)

    As far as resources go, I love The Safe Zone Project. They have tons of printables and handouts and ideas on how to make work and other functions “safe”. https://thesafezoneproject.com/resources/

    • Oooh, thanks so much, Debbie! Excited to check out The Safe Zone; sounds really useful!

  • Maggie Holley

    This is the best website I’ve found for a rich resource. I’d LOVE it if some of these book lists etc were printer friendly. I am in a group that likes to hand out lists like these and it’s sometimes a challenge to have to reformat them. THANKS!!

    • Thanks so much for the feedback, Maggie! We definitely could make these more printer friendly; appreciate you mentioning it and glad you found this one useful!

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