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How to be an ally to the LGBT community

By Jessica Campisi, CNN

Published June 22, 2018

Pride Month is filled with joy and color as the LGBT community celebrates its freedom. But straight people can also join in the fun by showing their support. Here's how you can be an ally.

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Learn the different sexuality terms

There are many ways to describe someone's sexual identity, and that may be confusing. Here are a few terms you should know:

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CNN/India Hayes

CNN/India Hayes

CNN/India Hayes

Make a few nice gestures

Go to a Pride parade with a loved one. Hang up a rainbow flag. Tell someone you support them. Small actions can make a big difference.

Use the right pronouns

If you're not sure how someone wants to be identified, ask. Using a person's preferred pronouns shows sensitivity and respect.

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Don't out people

Coming out is a long, hard process. If someone in the LGBT community confides in you, it doesn't mean they want you to share their story.

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Listen

Even if you can't relate to the experiences of someone from the LGBT community, hear them out. Empathize even if you haven't been in their shoes.

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Speak up against prejudice

If you hear someone make a crude comment or anti-LGBT joke, tell them it's not okay.

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Don't make Pride all about you

If you're taking photos of LGBT people at parades or bragging about your gay radar, you're not being an ally. Take part in the festivities, but remember you're there to support them, not the other way around.

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Whatever you do, DON'T ask why we don't have Straight Pride month

Just don't do it.

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