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Dear Allies, Use Your Privilege To Uplift, Not Speak For LGBTQ+

I'm appalled to see non-LGBTQ people (leaders) speak on behalf of the community because of the lack of budget and/or representation in their organization.

Allyship is a continuous process of using one’s privilege to uplift and bring attention to the issues of a marginalized community. But there is a recurring problem that minorities face, when allies and friends start to speak over them.

I’m appalled to see non-LGBTQ people (leaders) speak on behalf of the community because of the lack of budget and/or representation in their organization.

Corporations and organizations need to step up, and put an end to these practices. Representation and providing a platform to convey the issues of a community go hand in hand.

Hence, it is extremely important, that the task of allyship is  taken seriously. What can corporates and allies do? The first step is to provide a safe space of expression without the need for a third-party spokesperson.

What is Allyship?

This must stop for every marginalized community for the following reasons:

Advocacy and representation are two different things

Leaders can help by encouraging and advocating, not by representing a community and its views and experiences.

Organizations show a sincere commitment to DEI only by giving marginalized communities a platform to be heard and by elevating their voices.

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Authenticity and accuracy are important

There is a huge chance of misrepresenting or oversimplifying marginalized communities’ challenges, needs, and lived experiences when others speak on their behalf.

To maintain accuracy and prevent the spread of stereotypes or misunderstandings, it is critical to give opportunities to authentic voices.

Genuine empowerment is the key

It promotes self-determination, confidence, and a sense of ownership over their problems and goals when marginalized people are given the opportunity to speak up for themselves.

Showing respect is not optional

Marginalized communities encompass a diverse range of identities, experiences, and struggles.

By allowing individuals from marginalized communities to speak for themselves, their identity, intersectionality, and experience are acknowledged and respected.

Centering experience not your privilege

When one speaks on behalf of marginalized communities, the focus inadvertently shifts away from those communities’ real experiences and needs.

Centering the marginalized experience requires creating space for their voices to be heard directly.


Dear Allies, Use Your Privilege To Uplift, Not Speak For LGBTQ+

By doing so, organizations prioritize their concerns, insights, and aspirations, and work towards addressing the root causes of marginalization.

Instead of speaking on behalf of these communities, allies should actively listen to them, learn about them, amplify their voices, and most importantly use their privilege to push for systematic and societal change.

Recommended reading

This article was first published on LinkedIn. We have republished the article with a few editorial changes, on Women’s Web, with permission from author Abhinav Shikhar.

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