How to Be a Good Ally

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the Washington State Employee Assistance Program Newsletter

rainbow striped sidewalk
image from pixabay

(Adapted from the Department of Enterprise Services’ “DES Daily” blog)

Creating a supportive and accepting environment allows everyone to bring their true selves to work. We can extend our recognition of Pride Month and commit to supporting LGBTQ+ folks all year-round, and we can amplify and support the movement for Black lives by asking ourselves: What does it mean to be a good ally? 

The State of Washington’s Rainbow Alliance and Inclusion Network (RAIN) helped outline things you can do:

Listen and learn

Have an open mind and listen without judgement:

  • Let those who are marginalized take the lead. Listen to their direction and work with them to support their needs.
  • Don’t get defensive or discouraged when you get things wrong. You’re going to make mistakes, and that’s okay.

Have empathy

Being a good ally means having empathy and compassion for people whose experiences are not your own – it’s not about you, it’s about how to support achieving equality.

Be vocal and visible

A large part of being an ally is being visibly vocal about it and shouldering some of the burden of educating others. Use your voice to advocate for others, even when it may be uncomfortable.

RAIN Seeks Outstanding Agency Nominations

Deadline for submissions is close of business Friday, May 22


Does your state agency do outstanding inclusion and diversity work? The Rainbow Alliance and Inclusion Network, (RAIN) business group is seeking nominations for its RAIN Outstanding Agency Award.

Formed in 2016 under Gov. Jay Inslee’s Directive 16-11, this state LGBTQ+ business resource group helps establish best practices for state agencies to “create a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace for LGBTQ+ employees, allies, and customers in Washington State,” wrote Best Practices Co-Chairs Marisa Sanchez-Reed and Jasper Marino.

“We look forward to receiving nominations from all state employees and strongly encourage those who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community to tell us about the great work and many ways their agency encourages a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace,” the co-chairs wrote.

 Please submit any nominations by the close of business Friday, May 22.

If you have questions please reach out to RAIN’s Marisa (she/her/they/them) or Jasper (they/them/he/him).

About RAIN: The Rainbow Alliance & Inclusion Network (RAIN), Washington State Employees’ LGBTQ+ Business Resource Group (BRG), is an equal opportunity resource group. RAIN welcomes all Washington state employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or other diverse sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression groups, and their allies. RAIN encourages all members to bring their authentic selves to the BRG.