The US election may be terrible blow to minority rights throughout the 50 states, DC, and territories. All gender and sexual minorities, along with our Muslim and Black loved ones and many others, may be at risk.
We know how ugly some parts of America can be. We know that every time one of us is murdered. We’ve all had the slurs thrown at us, or our family or friends. Or been quietly denied housing, healthcare, marriage. And last night those ugliest bits won in our political system, a move that jeopardizes our safety and our rights for decades to come.
It’s okay to grieve.
It’s okay to be scared.
It’s even okay to be angry.
If you are in crisis right now, stop reading and call one of these hotlines:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
- Trans Lifeline
- The Trevor Project
- or the lifeline in your state
For me, I am reminded of Proposition 8. That was the ballot measure in California that took away same sex marriage rights in 2012. My (now) wife and I sat and watched the news unfold with disbelief. The state we’d thought was so progressive, that we’d thought was safe, turned on us. President Trump, and the Republican Senate and House, are far worse. But the emotions I hear echoing throughout our communities are the same: fear, disbelief, despair, a loss of safety. I never thought I’d trust my neighbors again. But we did ultimately gain the right to marry again, and public opinion continues to support us doing so.
Now for me, the emotion that boils to the surface most strongly now is determination. I can’t fix politics. I cannot, by myself, change the views of the country. Nor can I undo what has been done. But there is a lot I can do. I refuse to run and hide. I refuse to sit down and be quiet.
I will be a light in the darkness.
Please, join me.
If you can…
- Make the space around you a safe space. Embrace diversity with love. Never fear those who are different.
- Reach out to your minority neighbors, be they LGBT, kinky, disabled, Black, Muslim, or any of a million different qualities. See if they’re okay. Help each other.
- Watch out for the youth. They are often
- Be Out. Visibility matters, but be safe. If it’s not safe to be out, don’t beat yourself up about it.
- Take care of yourself. Remember to treat yourself with love and compassion. Eat well. Exercise. Remember to laugh. Breathe. If you are breathing, you are still alive. That is a good thing.
- Donate time or money to a relevant organization, including both the hotlines above and…
- National Center for Transgender Equality
- World Professional Association for Transgender Health
- National LGBT Task Force
- Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
- National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
- Most importantly, your local Diversity Center
Lastly, remember all that our communities have survived. From the Holocaust to Stonewall to AIDS to now. We did so by working as a community. By looking out for one another and protecting one another. By calling out injustice when we saw it. By protesting when we needed to.
We survived. We will survive. Better yet, we will thrive.
Because, after all, living well is the best victory of all.
Be that light in the darkness.