Center LGBTQ+ Voices
True allies make their support about the LGBTQ+ community, rather than about themselves.
There is no one way to center LGBTQ+ voices, but here are a few ideas:
- Ask LGBTQ+ couples you’ve worked with to share their love stories on your website or social media.
- For any LGBTQ+ styled shoots you take part in, make sure the models are actually part of the LGBTQ+ community (and ideally a real couple).
- Directly ask LGBTQ+ couples what they most need from vendors to feel affirmed and then work on living up to that.
- Use photos of real LGBTQ+ couples on your website.
- If you’re not LGBTQ+, don’t speak on our behalf and our experiences. Elevate LGBTQ+ voices whenever possible.
Publicly Declare Yourself an Ally
Public declarations of allyship are important in showing LGBTQ+ couples that you are respectful and affirming and that they will feel safe working with you.
Couples are on the lookout for signals from potential vendors, from social media posts to statements of inclusivity on your website to a badge showing you are Equally Wed Pro certified,
Don’t be afraid to show off any Pride month celebrations you take part in as well. Just make sure the celebrating is genuine and not staged and that it centers LGBTQ+ voices (see above).
Be an Ally All Year Long
Don’t just be an ally when it’s trendy. The best allies to the LGBTQ+ community are those who demonstrate their support 365 days a year. This could mean donating to LGBTQ+ nonprofits year-round or continuing to celebrate LGBTQ+ couples on your website and social media.
It also means always being respectful, affirming and safe for any LGBTQ+ couple who walks through your doors.
Don’t Support Politicians, Businesses and Policies that are Anti-LGBTQ+
This one seems obvious, but it can require more work than you think.
Oftentimes, Pride month is a time when companies slap rainbows on their products and declare themselves allies. Some companies that do this, however, may not actually walk the walk. Before supporting a company (and touting their rainbow products), check if they have nondiscrimination policies that support their LGBTQ+ employees. Do they provide healthcare on an equal level? What about parental leave?
It is as important to do this research for politicians you support as well. If you’re going to put a rainbow on your website, make sure you’re putting your money where your mouth is.
Use Correct Terminology
Don’t make assumptions about how any new people you meet identify. Make it a habit to ask anyone new what pronouns they use, and if they are potential clients, ask them what they would like to be called in regards to their wedding (bride, groom, marrier, partner, etc..).
Take the time to learn the meaning of important terms for the LGBTQ+ community as well. That way, you have a base understanding of the many ways people identify and express themselves (see below on how to educate yourself).
There are so many great educational offerings that will help you learn to be the best possible ally. If you haven’t already, start with our very own Equally Wed Pro courses, and especially our LGBTQ+ certification course.
Completing this course will not only help you gain important knowledge, but it will also earn you a badge for your website declaring you as LGBTQ+ inclusive—another great way to make yourself visible as an ally!