Five Ways for Faculty and Staff to Be Allies

1. Language Matters.

Don't assume heterosexuality or cisgender expression. If teaching, have students complete a survey or simple index card at the beginning of the semester indicating the name each prefers to be called and their preferred pronouns. In the community, avoid assuming the gender of a person's partner, for example, or otherwise making assumptions based on a correlation between gender expression and sexuality.

2.  Maintain Confidentiality.

If someone comes out to you, it is important that you respect that person's right to come out to others for themselves. It is not acceptable to "out" someone without their permission, even if it's done with the best of intentions.

3. Speak Up.

When you hear homophobic remarks, speak up as an ally. Do not be a bystander. People are sometimes afraid of being "too political". Engage tactfully but firmly in creating a safe space for all people is never too political.

4. Listen and Lift the Voices of LGBTQ+ People

Allies are supporters, which means listening and amplifying the voices of those we support.

5. Educate Yourself.

Kent State's Safe Space Ally training is a great place to start learning. Afterward, consider displaying your Safe Space sticker to show your support.

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