The Trevor Project and Active Allyship 

By: Stefanie Williams, Preventionist

 Active allyship is an essential element to supporting those in the LGBTQ+ community. I’ve always considered myself an ally. However on February 27th at The Mental Health Association in Parsippany – while being trained on how to better support Youth in the LGBTQ+ community by The Trevor Project, I learned there is so much more we all can do to be an involved active ally. For those who may not know, allyship is supporting a community that is not your own.  Being an active ally requires work, as our trainer Keygan Miller stated “Practicing is an act of allyship”. There are many ways to practice active allyship. 

      One example is education. Educating yourself on the language used in the LGBTQ+ community and how one identifies themselves in the community whether they are transgender, intersex, bi/pan sexual etc. 

      Using people’s pronouns and non-gender-specific language is another example. The suicide rate for young adults is cut in half for those whose pronouns are respected.  Correct your mistakes- if you happen to mistake someone’s pronouns or name. Simply correct yourself and make a mental note moving forward. These few helpful points and more can be found on thetrevorproject.org along with so many other useful resources for either yourself or someone you know in the LGBTQ+ community.  

      It is important to remember that we do not know what challenges individuals may be dealing with on a daily basis. Practicing empathy and active listening is essential to anyone who may be opening up about their journey of self discovery. It is also said that the suicide rate is lowered by 40% by those who have at least one affirming adult in their life. Although some may not know where to begin and learning new information may be overwhelming, any step towards allyship is the step in a right direction of building safe communities for all. 

   Put action to your allyship by joining us at our 3rd annual PIK Pride event in June. More details are to come!