Happy Pride Month from Aerie! We caught up with #AerieREAL Changemaker, Valerie Weisler of the Validation Project, to talk about what it means to be a good ally to the transgender community. She offered some advice and insight for the Aerie fam!

How does education (like about the use of pronouns!) help make cisgender people better allies to the trans community? Why are pronouns important?

Making the world a more loving and inclusive place is so important! A cisgender person sharing their pronouns normalizes the usage of pronouns for everyone, and can make it easier and safe for a transgender person to share their pronouns. This is a critical part of being an active ally!

Pride Month is associated with family for me. I’ve grown up with queerness as the foundation of what family means to me —both my brothers are queer and my grandmas are gay!

Valerie

What would you tell cisgender people to help them be better allies to the transgender community?

When cisgender people seek out the work of the transgender community, they are choosing to be good allies by making choices that are supportive! That means researching and reading literature and articles, watching movies and shows directed by trans people, starring trans people, written by trans people — especially trans people of marginalized identities.

I suggest taking the time to read up on the things you are still learning about to educate yourself! Support trans educators that are providing the resources for you to learn. When you do the work to help create safe environments built with love and support, you are choosing to be the best ally you can be!

We can all make the world a better, more inclusive place together.

Valerie

What are some ways for people to incorporate sharing and asking for pronouns in everyday interactions?

That’s a good question! One way to help make sharing pronouns a daily, social norm is to put your own pronouns in your social media bios and introduce yourself with your pronouns proactively — in work meetings, in interactions with new people, in every situation.

How do you build spaces of love and support in your communities? Let us know in the comments below! XO. 

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