Jeannie Gainsburg: How to Be a Savvy LGBTQ+ Ally

Can allyship be fun? Or do you envision every inclusion or diversity training as a slog? It doesn’t have to be so heavy-handed!

Today, Jeannie Gainsburg shares why, as a cisgender woman, she became a strong ally. We tackle how to get over the heaviness and blame of allyship and focus on having conversations with an open heart. We discuss pronouns and why sharing your pronouns (even if they seem obvious) is a great ally action. She also offers the best ways to gather pronouns from others without making it awkward. We talked about what being out and authentic at work looks like. Finally, Jeannie shares a few concrete tips and policies for creating a more LGBTQ+ inclusive workplace.

Her encouraging, passionate, and warm-hearted approach will surely jumpstart even the most tentative ally.

To access the episode transcript, please click on the episode title at 

Key Takeaways:

  • There are many causes to fight for – just pick one and start going. Fighting for rights for one, is fighting for rights for all.
  • People want to learn, so encouragement, not judgment, is critical.
  • We all use pronouns all day, every day. It doesn’t only affect those who are transgender. 


“Being an ally is an ongoing journey of messing up. We need to get comfortable with and understand that. Don’t let the fear of messing up or not knowing the right word stop you from having conversations, and know how to apologize. Just have the conversations with an open heart.” —  Jeannie Gainsburg


Episode References: 

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About Jeannie Gainsburg, Founder, Savvy Ally Action

Jeannie Gainsburg is an educational trainer and consultant in the field of LGBTQ+ inclusion and effective allyship. She is the founder of Savvy Ally Action, a small business that offers fun, accessible, and encouraging workshops and videos on how to be an ally to the LGBTQ+ community. Before forming the company, she spent 15 years working for the Out Alliance, the LGBTQ+ center in Rochester, NY.

Her book, The Savvy Ally: A Guide for Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate, was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2020, with the revised 2nd edition published in March 2023.

Jeannie has a BA in psychology from Brown University and an MA in social work and social research from Bryn Mawr College. She is the recipient of the Empire State Pride Agenda’s Community Champion Award and the Rochester LGBTQ Community Appreciation Award. In 2019, Jeannie also received a citation from the New York State Assembly for Distinguished Educational & Human Rights Services for her work in promoting LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion.

Connect with Jeannie Gainsburg:  

Savvy Ally Action: 




Book: The Savvy Ally: A Guide for Becoming a Skilled LGBTQ+ Advocate (2nd Edition)

Bonus: 100% of royalties from 1st-year sales of the 2nd edition are donated to LGBTQ+ nonprofits working to create a more inclusive world!

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