In the previous QuestionMark, I received many suggestions on how to make our community better. I felt though that these were not very actionable. This is why I came up with 10 ways that almost everyone can put them on their list.
1. Come out.
To your family, friends, work, and family minors. Gather the confidence to do so when you are comfortable and feel safe.
A more advanced suggestion would be to add your gayness on your LinkedIn. I’ve added the following to my profile intro. “…I blog about LGBT+ issues and work with companies that are LGBT+ champions or aspire one day to be…”.
I will always say I am gay in my job interviews. I will mention in my interests LGBT causes, being part of LGBT activities, or will always find a way to bring my gayness into the discussion. I think it is very important for our community to be heard and for myself to be in an environment where I will be able to bring my authentic self every day. Try it.
2. Give at least 2 euros a month to charity.
Every time you get a promotion, increase your contribution by 2 euros per month. Such a small contribution can make a huge impact, and you will probably barely notice it. It can also become a way of living, and your small contribution can grow to a huge impact in the life of many. Charities and organisations I plan to support this year: AllOut, Teni, BelongTo.
3. Make LGBT friends of 20+ years age difference.
Being LGBT can help you create friendships with people with diverse backgrounds or ages. Usually, in queer spaces, the diversity in age is significantly wider than in similar “straight” places. Grab the opportunity.
4. Share good job opportunities with LGBT or allies.
Mentor younger LGBT in your field and create a strong professional network of contacts. Our community needs many more successful members.
5. Learn about HIV, Prep, and help end the stigma.
Individuals with HIV who receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) and have achieved and maintained an undetectable viral load cannot sexually transmit the virus.
6. Help make substance abuse unsexy.
Talk to people you think might need help. Listen. Create, promote or join places without alcohol. Don’t push anyone to have one more drink or one more shot. If you need time to clear your head, staying in and taking care of yourself is perfectly OK. Ask for help; no matter where you are, there are many LGBT helplines you can talk to and get all the support you need.
7. Learn about and support our trans community.
Support the community with your vote, money, or time. Read some stories
8. Follow LGBT artists, causes, NGOs, and politicians.
Local and global ones as well.
9. Participate in a protest.
There are amazing things you can learn away from the screen.
10. Fuck/Make love to/date a fat, a fem, an Asian, a much older, a foreigner, etc.
Help end discrimination. Let’s make the “No fats, no fems, no Asians, no blacks, no gingers, no oldies…” or whatever a part of our ugly history. Check what you say on your social media profile. Read and expand your thinking. Talk to people who suffer from our “preferences.” Try a darkroom to discover that we are all the same. Remember, our eyes lie, and our brain needs work to open up.
Someone said: “The mind is like a parachute; it works best when opened.”