RAINN Stands with LGBTQ+ Community

In June, RAINN celebrates Pride Month, an opportunity to uplift survivors from the LGBTQ+ community. Standing beside LGBTQ+ survivors, through the challenges and triumphs of life after trauma, is an important component in healing together. Even if you already identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, it’s still important to hold space for those whose journey differs from your own. Allyship is about learning from others and supporting them when it isn’t easy.

If you’re looking for information on how to be an ally, consider the following ways of showing support.

  1. Seek out resources. Becoming an active ally with LGBTQ+ survivors is a lifelong learning process. Take the time to learn about LGBTQ+ organizations that serve your community. Seek out organizations to learn more about LGBTQ+ identities and the unique struggles members of these communities face. African, Latinx, Arab, Asian, and Native American members of the LGBTQ+ community all face unique struggles, as do women and immigrants.
  2. Get curious. Once you’ve singled out organizations you want to help, be prepared to be honest about what you don’t know — that is where learning takes place. And remember, you don’t have to have all the answers — you just have to listen and know that you are there for them to help in any way they need.
  3. Remember it's ok to make mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. When making a mistake, the best thing to do is apologize in private. For example, if you use the wrong pronoun for someone, asking for the pronoun that they prefer is totally fine. It’s important to be transparent and take the necessary steps to ensure they don't happen again.
  4. Don’t make assumptions. Don’t make assumptions about someone’s gender identity or sexuality. Instead, practice using gender inclusive language to open the door to all survivors.
  5. Use what you know to educate others. Share and teach what you’ve learned to help others grow.

Additional Resources

  • National Sexual Assault Hotline: Operated by RAINN, the NSAH provides free, confidential support 24/7 by phone (800.656.HOPE) in English and Spansh.
  • Human Rights Campaign: The Human Rights Campaign envisions a world where every member of the LGBTQ+ family has the freedom to live their truth without fear, and with equality under the law.
  • Walk PSA: Walk explores how the discrimination that transgender survivors of sexual assault face surrounding their identities can create additional barriers to seeking help. This powerful PSA seeks to shift the conversation around these issues and ensure that survivors get the care and resources they need—because at RAINN, we help all survivors.
  • National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs: A coalition of programs that document and advocate for victims of anti-LGBT and anti-HIV/AIDS violence/harassment, domestic violence, sexual assault, police misconduct and other forms of victimization. Site has a list of local anti-violence programs and publications. Hotline: 212.714.1141
  • The Trevor Project: Help and suicide prevention for GBLTQ youth. Hotline: 866.488.7386
  • GLBT National Hotline: Call center that refers to over 15,000 resources across the country that support LGBTQ individuals. Hotline: 888.THE.GLNH (843.4564)
  • FORGE: (For Ourselves: Reworking Gender Expression): Home to the Transgender Sexual Violence Project. Provides services and publishes research for transgender persons experiencing violence and their loved ones.
  • The Marsha P. Johnson Institute: MPJI seeks to eradicate systemic, community, and physical violence that silences our community from actualizing freedom, joy, and safety. In part, this mission is addressed through locating culturally competent resources for basic necessities like housing, food security, legal and financial support, COVID-19 relief, health/wellness, employment, social support, and more.

To speak with a trained support specialist, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE (4673) or chat online in English at online.rainn.org or in Spanish at RAINN.org/es.