A really easy way to be an LGBTQ+ ally is to use inclusive language. Being inclusive can mean not using gendered language. For example, when you are trying to be polite, you can drop the ma’am and sir and just make sure you smile, make eye contact, and use a friendly tone of voice. Being inclusive can also mean not assuming someone’s gender by their choice of clothing or the sound of their voice. If you’re not sure whether someone’s pronouns are he, she, or they- then don’t assume. You can simply ask them what their pronouns are. If you don’t feel comfortable asking, then just call them by their name and don’t use pronouns at all. Being inclusive also means not assuming someone has a spouse of the opposite gender. And don’t use the gendered language of husband or wife. There are a lot of alternatives like partner, spouse, or significant other. At first, using inclusive language requires a little more thought, but in time you can change your verbal habits. Read on for specific ways to change what you say.

Instead of girls and boys….say children, kids, friends, people, peeps.

Instead of husband or wife….partner, spouse, significant other, mate, better half, other half.

Instead of referring to your own kids by gender and using daughter or son….say my oldest, my yougest, my ninth grader, my womb fruit, my child, my kids, my dumplings, my offspring.

Instead of ladies and gentlemen ….say people, friends, folks, everyone, colleagues, honored guests.

Instead of chairman or chairwoman….say chair or chairperson.

Instead of mailman….say mailperson, mail deliverer.

Instead of policeman….say police officer.

Instead of fireman….say firefighter.

If you make a mistake, don’t worry. Correct yourself and move on. Eventually, you will use inclusive language without thinking about it.

Categories: Advice

Rainbow Advice

I'm the parent of LGBTQ+ children and I want to empower other parents to advocate for their children. If you can't find an answer on this site, please email me at admin@rainbowadvice.com. I will try to locate helpful resources for you.