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:
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!
- The New York Times’ The ABCs of L.G.B.T.Q.I.A.+ (a quick-read primer on basic identities)
- Human Right’s Campaign’s Glossary (quick and handy for referencing)
- PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays)’s National Glossary of Terms (goes deeper into gender topics)
- It’s Pronounced Metrosexual’s Comprehensive List of LGBTQ+ Vocabulary Definitions (the most comprehensive list!)
- Conscious Style Guide’s Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Guide (great resources for journalists, reporters, anyone who’s writing about sex and /gender)
- Progressive Style Guide
Some great starting-place videos for allies
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:
- Lesbians Who Tech’s Tech Diversity Inclusion list
- Ben Francisco’s list of LGBTQ leaders, writers, news sources, nonprofits, funders, and activists.
- I made a list just for this blog post!
- If you’re in tech, here’s a handful of diversity in tech lists
Instagram is increasingly a great place to go to get a view into perspectives outside your own. Here are some places to start:
- Refinery29’s 8 Queer History & Culture Instagrams To Follow Right Now
- AutoStraddle’s 23 Black Queer and Trans Femmes to Follow on Instagram
- AutoStraddle’s 16 Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer Instagram Accounts to Introduce You to Herstory
- Bust’s 10 Queer Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow Right Now
- Out’s Most Exciting Queers to Follow on Instagram in 2019
- them’s Most Exciting Queers to Follow on Instagram
- Mashable’s best places to find queer joy on Instagram
General LGBTQ resources
- GLAAD’s LGBTQ Resource List
- Straight for Equality has a great list of workplace learning sessions
- The HRC Corporate Equality Index: Designed to help you learn more about where your company stands when it comes to equality.
- Breaking Binaries Worksheet: Use this worksheet to understand how you personally understand your assigned birth sex, gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation. It can be a conversation starter about non-binary identities.
- 3 resources from the American Psychological Association:
- GLAAD’s Tips for Allies of Transgender People
- Trans Ally: Dos and Don’ts
- Action Tips for Allies of Trans People
- Trans Ally Resources
- them’s Trans Voices series on YouTube
- The Better Allies email list shares 5 weekly actions to create a more inclusive workplace
- Human Rights Campaign’s An Ally’s Guide to Issues Facing the LGBTQ Community
- PFLAG’s We Are All Allies offers some quick starting points for all allies
- Coming Out as a Supporter: This guide on what to do when a person comes out to you also dispels some common myths about LGBTQ people and outlines simple ways to show support.
- The Guide to Being a Straight Ally: Learn more about what it means to be a straight ally and get some great tips and tools to being more supportive of your LGBTQ, friends, family, and colleagues.
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
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!