What's Your Excuse?
We told you what we want you to do, how to do it and why it's the best way to win equal rights for LGBT people. But some of you still aren't convinced. Find your excuse below, read our response, and get out there to Tell 3!
"Everyone I know already supports LGBT equality."
Well that will certainly make it easy for you, won't it? What are you waiting for? Go Tell 3 right now!
Kidding aside, it's still really important to have these conversations with straight allies. Even supportive people may not fully understand just how much impact being LGBT has on our daily lives. While we were having our own conversations (we wouldn't ask you to do something we haven't done ourselves), many of us found that our supportive friends weren't particularly educated. One ally thought civil unions were available in all 50 states. Another was shocked that it's still legal in most states to fire someone for being LGBT. We even had one supporter swear to us that same-sex couples could get married in New York City!
Your conversation could be the one that educates and inspires a supporter to take action. And to win equality, we're going to need as many straight allies taking action as possible. If they want to know how to help, send 'em to this website.
"I'm not political."
"I don't know enough about LGBT rights."
"I don't know what to talk about"
You don't need to be political or know all the ins and outs of the latest gay rights legislation to make a difference. In fact, the best conversations aren't about politics at all. They're just one person talking to another person about how life changes (and doesn't change) when someone is lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Talk about the way your family all assumes you'll never have kids, when really, you've always wanted children. Talk about the office busybody who keeps trying to set you up on straight dates and who you can't tell you're gay because if your boss's boss finds out, you're afraid you won't get promoted. Talk about how, just because you're out as a transgender person, people you barely know think it's somehow appropriate to ask intimate questions about your anatomy. Talk about how your best friend was relentlessly harassed all through high school, just because he's gay.(See How Do I Do It? for more suggestions.)
Bottom line? Talk about your hopes and fears. Your goals and dreams. And how something that is just one part of who people are sexual orientation of gender identity makes such an oversized impact on their lives.
"Having conversations like that is weird/cheesy/awkward/silly."
You know what? You're right. Having a conversation about what it means to you to be LGBT seems a little weird. You may think that parts of what you say sound cheesy. You'll probably feel awkward or silly. But most of that will be on your end of the conversation. Most of what the person you're talking will get out of it is insight into what it's like to be LGBT and feeling closer to you because you shared something personal about yourself.
If you're really feeling uncomfortable, check out our conversation starters for some suggestions of ways to get the conversation started naturally. But if you DON'T feel at least a little uncomfortable, you're probably not doing it right. Intimate conversations about our lives is what changes hearts and minds and intimate conversations make everyone a little uncomfortable. And are you really going to care about a few minutes of awkwardness when thanks to conversations like these we have the next big victory?
"I live on a deserted island and have no form of communication with the outside world."
Um, okay. I guess you're off the hook. (But how are you reading this web site?)