The Savvy Ally
A Guide for Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate
Bursting with passion and humor, The Savvy Ally is a treasure trove for allies to the LGBTQ+ communities. This fully revised second edition includes:
The most current information on identities and LGBTQ+ language
Tips for respectfully sharing, gathering, and using pronouns
LGBTQ+ etiquette, including common language bloopers to avoid
Tools for navigating difficult conversations
Best practices for creating LGBTQ+ inclusive spaces
Appropriate actions to take after messing up
Techniques for self-care and sustainable allyship
The Savvy Ally is a vital resource for teachers, mental health professionals, healthcare providers, college professors, faith leaders, family members, and friends who want to support and advocate for the LGBTQ+ people in their lives and help make the world a safer, more inclusive place. This informative, encouraging, and easy-to-understand guidebook will jump-start even the most tentative ally.
100% of the royalties from the first year of sales will be donated to nonprofit organizations working to build a safer and more inclusive world for LGBTQ+ people.
Book Endorsements and Reviews
If you’re interested in being an effective ally to the LGBTQ+ communities then put this book on your required-reading list and learn from one of the best. Gainsburg’s savviness, warmth, sensitivity, and humor emanate from every page. You’re going to love this book.
Sarah Kate Ellis, CEO of GLAAD
“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
“An ideal, practical, effective, and thoroughly 'user friendly' DIY instructional guide and manual, The Savvy Ally: A Guide for Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate is an especially and unreservedly recommended addition to family, personal, professional, community, college, and university library LGBTQ collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.”
Midwest Book Review
"Once in a while, a book comes along that resonates with my heart & my life's passion/mission. This is The Savvy Ally book by Jeannie Gainsburg. It contains all the relevant aspects and more on how to be an ALLY, excuse me, a SAVVY ALLY as Jeannie's badass humor and personality came through the reading for me. I love it so much!"
Loan Nguyen, PFLAG New York City Program Coordinator
"In her book, The Savvy Ally, Jeannie Gainsburg informs and empowers readers to consider how they might be more open and engaging toward those who might be different. It is a resource I have recommended many times."
Hunter O'Hanian, Stonewall National Museum & Archives Executive Director
“If you have LGBTQ+ friends, family, colleagues, service users, or are simply keen to be more knowledgeable about the subject of gender equity, "The Savvy Ally" is the best reference guide you are ever likely to read. Jeannie Gainsburg is a skilled and professional ally, as well as a tremendous author.”
Matt McAvoy, senior editor, MJV Literary Author Services
“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
"Jeannie Gainsburg has written a brilliant guide to what we all need to know and do to be better allies for LGBTQ+ people in all aspects of our lives. It’s a treasure trove of practical ideas, sprinkled with the perfect amount of humor."
Karen Catlin, author of Better Allies and Belonging in Healthcare
“I was really hesitant to read a book written about the LGBTQ+ community by someone who does not identify as LGBTQ+. I read the first few pages with skepticism, ready to poke holes in the book. And... I have never been so happy to be proven wrong! Jeannie's book is filled with great information for anyone who wants to understand what it means to be an advocate for LGBTQ+ people and how to act as an ally. It's also educational for those within the community - I found myself saying "huh! I didn't know that!" multiple times as I was reading. I loved the book so much that we offered the book as a virtual book club at work during pride month this June. My colleagues had rich and meaningful discussion and we would highly recommend it!”
Cara Pelletier, Senior Director of Diversity, Equity & Belonging
at Kronos Incorporated and Ultimate Software
(An excerpt from the book The Savvy Ally)
What do LGBTQ+ people do in the bedroom?
A. Have sex
B. Read books
D. Occasionally vacuum and change the sheets
E. All of the above
POP QUIZ ANSWER
ANSWER: E (ALL OF THE ABOVE)
There is an interesting phenomenon that sometimes happens when people talk about LGBTQ+ individuals and the LGBTQ+ communities. Their heads go right to the person’s body parts and/or what they are doing in the bedroom. Well, we're all doing the same stuff in the bedroom. Reading, sleeping, occasionally changing the sheets, and some of us are having sex. But, we need to keep in mind that humans can be very creative in the bedroom and no one group has cornered the market on any one sexual activity. It’s disrespectful and inaccurate to make assumptions about or to define a group of people by what we think they are doing in the bedroom.