A guide that gets straight to the point about sex and relationships.

How to be an ally

How can we better support our LGBTQIA+ friends, family, community and one another?

📖 10 min read

What is an ally?

An ally is someone who challenges heteronormativity and queerphobia, even if they don’t identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community. People within the LGBTQIA+ community can also be allies to one another. For example, cisgender gay men and women can be allies to transgender people.

Why should I be an ally?

Sex, sexuality, and gender diversity is a natural part of human diversity. However, this hasn’t always been celebrated. One thing that many LGBTQIA+ people have in common is an experience of being targeted by other people's ignorance, hate and prejudice, just for being who they are.

When you’re already in the minority, it can feel like an uphill battle to educate other people about your experiences, or defend yourself against hate and harm. Even questions from well-meaning people can become exhausting, when you've answered them many times before. This work can sometimes lead to things like stress, anxiety and depression.

Because of this, LGBTQIA+ people need allies.

How can I be an ally?

In general, being an ally means learning about the struggles of LGBTQIA+ people, and choosing to take on some of these struggles yourself. It means doing your best to educate yourself before expecting others to educate you.

Tips for allies - in general

Here are some more concrete steps you can take:

Tips for supporting trans and gender diverse people

Tips for supporting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual (LGB), and other same-sex or same-gender attracted people

Tips for supporting asexual and aromantic people

Tips for supporting intersex people

In summary

Language around sex, sexuality, and gender diversity, along with society’s ideas and understandings of this diversity, continues to shift and change rapidly, and we may not always get it right, even when we do our best. Even if this is true, don't give up. Stay curious and open to learning. We all have a part to play to make sure that everyone is safe, welcome, and included in our communities, free from ignorance and prejudice, no matter our sex, gender, or sexuality, no matter who we love, how we look, or who we are.

External Organisations and Resources
Please note that the Gist is not officially affiliated with any of the following resources or organisations.

General LGBTQIA+ Resources

- Switchboard Victoria
Peer-driven support services for LGBTQIA+ people, their families, allies and communities.

- Rainbow Door
Free specialist LGBTQIA+ helpline, providing Information, support, and referral to all LGBTQIA+ Victorians, their friends and family, a service of Switchboard.
Call: 1800 729 367
SMS: 0480 017 246

- Queerspace (Drummond Street Centre)
LGBTQIA+ health and wellbeing support service by LGBTQIA+ communities for LGBTQIA+ communities.

- Victorian Pride Centre
The first purpose-built centre for Australia's LGBTQIA+ communities.


Intersex Resources

- Intersex Human Rights Australia
National body by and for people with intersex variations


Bisexual Resources

- Melbourne Bisexual Network
Bi+ led community organisation, proudly improving the health and wellbeing of Bi+ Victorians.

Trans and Gender Diverse Resources

- Transgender Victoria
Victoria’s leading body for trans and gender diverse people.

- Transcend Australia
Supporting, affirming and celebrating the lives of trans and gender diverse children and their families and carers.

- Transhub
Digital information and resource platform for trans and gender diverse people.

Help us improve this info by letting us know how you found it.