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A Guide for Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate

The Savvy Ally is an enjoyable, humorous, encouraging, easy-to-understand guidebook for being an ally to the LGBTQ+ communities. It is chock-full of practical and useful tools for LGBTQ+ advocacy, including:

  • Current and relevant information on identities and LGBTQ+ language

  • Techniques for respectful dialogue and common bloopers to avoid

  • Tools for effectively navigating difficult conversations

  • Suggestions for addressing common questions and concerns

  • Actions for creating more LGBTQ+ inclusive spaces

  • Recommendations for self-care and sustainable allyship

The Savvy Ally is vital for teachers, counselors, social workers, healthcare providers, and college professors, as well as parents who want to be supportive of their LGBTQ+ child but don’t know how. This informative, entertaining, and supportive guidebook will surely jump-start even the most tentative ally.


Book Endorsements

“This is it. You found it — the very best guide on how not to make mistakes with LGBTQ+ employees, customers, students, congregants, patients, and family members. If you want to be an effective ally for LGBTQ+ people, buy and read The Savvy Ally. I very enthusiastically endorse this book.”

Brian McNaught, named by The New York Times “The Godfather of Gay Diversity Training”

"This is a beautiful book. A necessary book. An unputdownable book. Please read this book." 

Alison Smith, Barnes & Noble Discover Award Winner for Non-Fiction and Author of Name All the Animals

“If you want to support LGBTQ+ people but no one has ever taught you how, this is the book for you. Written in an accessible and entertaining style, The Savvy Ally is filled with useful scenarios, tips, and examples to help you transition from well-intentioned bystander to effective and informed advocate.”

Robyn Ochs, named by Teen Vogue one of “9 Bisexual Women Who are Making History”

“This book is long overdue and I loved reading it! It is a call to action in a positive, optimistic, and engaging way—a masterful blend of information, personal stories, humor, and serious content. This is much more than just an informative book. It is designed to build skills that can be translated into ongoing, meaningful action. If you want to be an effective LBGTQ+ ally, buy this book. It won’t just sit on your shelf. You’ll use it every day!”

Mike Streeter, Executive Director, Workforce Diversity Network

“I love the compassionate sentiment that is weaved through this book that being an ally doesn’t mean you have to be perfect; it means being able to acknowledge when a mistake is made and then trying your best to be better. If you truly want to be an ally, The Savvy Ally will lead the way through real life examples, questions that make you go hmmm…., and “what if” scenarios. Thank you, Jeannie Gainsburg, for supporting my ally journey!”

Kimberly Braithwaite, Senior Human Resource Manager, Barilla America Inc. and one of Profiles in Diversity Journal’s 2019 “Women Worth Watching”

“The Savvy Ally provides a successful foray into the confusing and ever-changing world of being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. The thoughtful definitions, the various analogies, and the personal examples used to clarify issues are always helpful and often brilliant. Clearly, Gainsburg’s many years of ‘operating in solidarity with’ the LGBTQ+ community have provided her with the necessary insight to create such a useful tool. I am grateful for such a perceptive and kindhearted book!”

Matthew Burns, Dean of Students, University of Rochester

“The Savvy Ally is a read for everyone. It is one of the best tutorials I’ve read that offers key insights into LGBTQ communities while offering practical guidance and action-oriented tips that will help allies become more culturally competent, respectful, and impactful in their interactions, both personally and in business.”

Joseph L. Searles, Jr., Corporate Diversity Relations Director, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

"The Savvy Ally is a book I will recommend again and again for its thoughtful approach to gaining knowledge, skill, and confidence. It's a much needed tool in our box!"

Dr. Kelly Clark, Director of the Q Center, Binghamton University

"The Savvy Ally is a welcome introduction to current issues for the GLBTQ+ community. Perhaps of greater importance, it is a valuable and timely handbook for any would-be allies wishing to be stimulated to thinking about a community which has become (and is still becoming) a more significantly recognized caste in our current society. I heartily commend it to all attuned to gay and lesbian life and issues."
Rainbow Book Reviews



Click below to watch Jeannie's July 23rd reading and book talk
with the Out Center of Southwest Michigan



(An excerpt from the book The Savvy Ally)

What is the correct and respectful way to talk about the Olympic gold medal-winning decathlete who won the medal before she transitioned?

A. Bruce Jenner won an Olympic gold medal.

B. Caitlyn Jenner won an Olympic gold medal, back when she was Bruce.

C. Caitlyn Jenner won an Olympic gold medal.





Even though we know that Caitlyn Jenner was referring to herself using a different name and pronoun when she won the Olympics, it’s correct and respectful to stay in the present with both her name and her pronoun when discussing the past. Using an old name or pronoun is not only disrespectful, but it can potentially put someone’s safety at risk by outing them to others.

Did you get the answer right? Nice job, very savvy!

Did you mess up? Please forgive yourself. We didn't learn this stuff in high school. Now you have a new savvy ally skill to take out into the world! Huzzah!


Want the book? SWEET!!!

The Savvy Ally is available for purchase from Amazon or the Rowman & Littlefield website. Click below to order.

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