The action continuum
The action continuum focuses on ways of dealing with oppressive behaviour. The continuum describes a range of actions and clearly shows which actions/choices progress social justice and which work against it. This continuum can be used in any setting.
|Actions which can work against social justice||Actions that can work towards social justice|
Allies must listen to the communities they wish to assist, and ask what is needed before pursuing action plans. A common mistake made by those wanting to be allies is that they put plans into action that do not actually serve the needs of the communities they wish to represent. These mistakes can have grave consequences, especially in places where sexual minorities are criminalised. In not taking a sensitive approach, one could actually expose vulnerable groups to further harm. The diagram below by ‘It’s pronounced Metrosexual’ clearly shows why outcomes are more important the intentions.
To avoid harmful outcomes allies should:
- Assume the LGBTI community members themselves are experts on their own experience.
- Avoid speaking on behalf of people from the LGBTI community.
- Become experts on the issues.
- Not expect gratitude.
- Be a 100 per cent ally; no deals, no strings attached.
- Consult with groups that one wishes to ally with, ask what they need, what they are already .doing, what their ideas are for taking advocacy forward.
- Consider inviting someone from said group to speak to members of your community who you feel will be receptive to them.