Black Lives Matter protest marchers.

How to Be an Ally: Seven Steps to Stand Up for Marginalized Communities

When someone goes to you with a complaint, they want to be heard. They also want to know how things will change, but being heard comes first. So let them know you heard them. This can be as simple as thanking them for bringing the incident to your attention. You can say, “I hear you. Thanks for letting me know.”

Woman moving forward on a hiking trail.

How to Cope With the Stress of Being in the Closet

In a couple years I’ll be in college and out from under my parents’ thumb. Can’t I wait until then to let my rainbow freak flag fly?

My character’s words came to mind when I received a lesbian dating advice question from an Indian college student who felt trapped between a friend’s suspicion of her sexuality and her deep desire to remain in the closet through the rest of college. This woman was 20, and desperate to keep her secret hidden; I assumed this was because homosexuality is still criminalized in India and out gays and lesbians face widespread discrimination.