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Being a 2SLGBTQIA+ Ally (INC1-J09)


This job aid outlines what you can do to be a 2SLGBTQIA+ ally, including sharing your pronouns and using gender-inclusive language.

Published: August 23, 2021
Type: Job aid

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Being a 2SLGBTQIA+ Ally

An ally is someone who actively and consistently supports, stands with and advocates for the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. Allyship is a process of continual learning and reflection.

As public servants, it is our responsibility to treat all people with dignity and promote a healthy and respectful workplace. By following the tips provided in this job aid, you can contribute to building a workplace that is inclusive of everyone.

What can I do to be an Ally?

Share your pronouns

By sharing your pronouns, you can help people use more inclusive language and create space for others to share their pronouns if they feel comfortable.

Here are a few situations where you can choose to share your pronouns:

  • in email signatures
  • in team and organizational charts
  • when introducing yourself to new colleagues or in meetings

Use gender-inclusive language

When you are not certain of someone's pronouns, or when you are addressing a large group of people (in person, virtually or in writing), use language that is inclusive of all genders.

For example:

  • Use someone's first and last name instead of gendered titles (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss) wherever possible.
  • Use they/theirs instead of he/his or she/hers or his/hers (in documentation, during presentations, etc.).
  • Use partner/spouse instead of wife/husband or boyfriend/girlfriend.

Demonstrate your support and participate in activities

By demonstrating your support and participating in activities, you can meet people from 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and network with other allies to collaborate on ideas for support and action.

  • Promote and participate in events of celebration and recognition.
  • Display a pride flag in your workspace.
  • Promote and participate in learning events from your organization or the Canada School of Public Service
  • Join an Employment Equity and Diversity Committee, 2SLGBTQIA+ Network or a support group that is open to allies.

Speak up!

By speaking up when you hear or see discrimination and exclusionary behaviour, you are standing in support and solidarity with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and contributing to a safer workplace for all.

Examples of discriminatory and exclusionary behaviour include:

  • demeaning jokes
  • offensive or stereotypical remarks
  • exclusionary comments and expressions
  • content in documents or learning products that is sex and gender-restrictive

Additional resources

Canada School of Public Service

External resources

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