10 things queers (and everyone) can do to fight racism

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The time is now for everyone to actively end racism. Here’s what we all can do to stem the tide against hatred for the causes of intersectional justice and within the LGBTQ community.

Listen

Don’t diminish others’ experiences by comparing your own hardships or struggles. Ears open, mouth shut, mind on healing.

When Talking, Ask Questions

If engaged on the topic of racism, ask open ended questions. Admit you might not know everything. Repeat what you’ve heard, and ask if you’re getting it right.

Privilege Check

What does it mean to be white? What allowances, opportunities and assumptions do you get automatically that you may not have previously recognized?

Remember It’s Not About You

Don’t express your own lack of racism when the topic comes up. It’s not extraordinary; it’s mandatory.

Challenge Racism

You’re not “respecting” that old uncle by avoiding or ignoring him. If necessary, learn how to engage without escalating.

Further Visibility

With intention, include diverse peoples in your work, your play, your discussions, your acknowledgements, your spaces.

Educate Yourself

Other people are not your encyclopedia. People of color or of other backgrounds than you aren’t here to further your understanding. Find appropriate times and ask permission to “interview” people.

Witness Out Loud

If you hear racist remarks or see discrimination in action, speak up. Let everyone else know you heard and are not OK with it, and learn to do so in productive, defusing ways.

No Medal for You

Don’t expect congratulations or rewards for doing the right thing. It’s not other people’s job to approve or certify your edification.

Be Yourself

Well, unless that self is racist. Find opportunities to further the cause that fit your personality and interests. Incorporate it into the life you already lead.

This article originally appeared in Q magazine. Pick up your copy around town, and read the full issue below.

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