• June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate and achieve equal justice and opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community.
  • You can show your support this month (and year-round) in many ways by serving as an LGBTQ+ ally.
  • Be open-minded and don’t shy away from asking questions — make it clear that you support the LGBTQ+ people in your life.
  • Use proper pronouns: Ask the individual what they identify as, and then use the correct identifiers when you address them.
  • Stay informed and stand up for the community by researching current policies, supporting movements that call for LGBTQ+ rights, and dispelling inappropriate remarks that demean the community.

LGBTQ+ Pride Month is celebrated annually throughout the month of June—its mission being to achieve equal justice and opportunity for the LGBTQ+ community, which is comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, intersex, asexual, and many more individuals.

Today, Pride events include parades and parties, workshops, concerts, and other events to celebrate as well as raise awareness for the community. Additionally, memorials are held for members of the LGBTQ+ community who have lost their lives.

If you don’t identify as an LGBTQ+ individual, you might be wondering how you can appropriately celebrate LGBTQ+ pride month as well as how you can show your support for the community. In addition to participating or getting involved in the celebrations, your efforts are best served in being an ally for the LGBTQ+ community—or, in other words, supporting and advocating for these individuals who are often discriminated against or treated unfairly.

Here are 5 important ways to show your support for the LGBTQ+ community:

1. Invest in the little things.

You don’t always have to show your love and support with grand gestures—remember, little things can go a long way. For example, you can show your support for the LGBTQ+ community by simply wearing a rainbow shirt during pride month, adding a pride-forward cover photo on Facebook, and sharing pride posts/resources on social media.

Also, keep in mind that those who have just come out or those who are still working to feel comfortable and confident in their skin often feel nervous or hesitant to talk about their experience or their feelings. You can make them feel more comfortable with these subtle signs of support.

2. Listen.

If/when a member of the LGBTQ+ community confides in you about the challenges they face, listen to them. Give them your full attention. Make them feel heard.

While you might not understand what it’s like to live in their shoes, attention and empathy can make a huge difference.

3. Use proper pronouns.

While it’s true that actions speak louder than words, it’s important that you use proper pronouns. If you aren’t sure, show your friend, family member, or colleague the proper respect by asking how they identify. Then, use the correct identifiers when you address them. By doing this, you’re showing them love, support, respect, and affirmation, things that are all too rare for LGBTQ+ folks in the world. They’ll appreciate it more than you know.

4. Stay informed.

Nothing shows love, care, and support for the community like staying on top of LGBTQ+ issues and doing your part to stand up against the discrimination they face on a daily basis.

You can accomplish this by doing your research on current policies, disputing inappropriate “humor” that actually demeans LGBTQ+ individuals, and supporting businesses or figures that call for LGBTQ+ rights and inclusivity.

5. Go straight to the source.

Ask your LGBTQ+ friend or family member what else you can do to better support or even understand them. Find out what’s important, what’s hard, and what’s real. Show that you’re interested and that you want to learn more. If you don’t feel comfortable asking a friend or family member, Human Rights Campaign has plenty of resources that can help you acquire the knowledge you’re looking for.

These tips are simple, but they can go a long way in showing your support for the LGBTQ+ community and furthering the efforts to achieve equal justice and opportunity for all.