While I tend to focus on general topics on this blog, I’m trying to post resources this week on how to focus your dollars, activism, and efforts on reducing the harm from this year’s election. This will be a multi-part series of short entries, focusing on a variety of causes that you can get involved in to mitigate some harm.
During the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump promised to help the LGBTQ community. In context, though, he only did this by throwing another marginalized group under the bus – Muslims. He linked the Orlando shooting to Islamist terrorism (a dubious connection), and promised to protect members of that community by championing policies and lists rooted in anti-Muslim bigotry. If you’ve spent any time listening to the LGBTQ community, you’d know that this isn’t a comfort to a majority of them. In fact, most of them are downright terrified of Trump being in office.
Furthermore, if Trump really wanted to show that he cares about queer and trans folk, he would not have accepted Mike Pence as his Vice President. It’s almost the joke that Trump needed to check off all the boxes on bigotry and he wasn’t homophobic enough, so he used Mike Pence to round off that ticket. Pence is terrifying for queer and trans issues.
Pence has advocated for diverting money from HIV/AIDS research to focus on conversion therapy, or in other words, torturing gay people into not being straight anymore. It should go without saying that this is an ineffective treatment.
Under this presidency and with a conservative congress, LGBTQ folks are currently worried about many issues. If a Scalia-like judge is appointed to the Supreme Court, this puts Marriage Equality in Jeopardy. It also puts into question whether transgender rights will be upheld in future court decisions.
On a legislative level, repealing the ACA is terrifying because LGBTQ folks are at risk for discrimination or loss from providers. Sexual orientation and gender identity may not be protected classes nationwide.
RFRA-like bills in certain states also have a history of abusing and misusing “religious freedom” to infringe upon the rights of LGBTQ folk, and this will be exacerbated under this current administration.
Trump could easily overturn a few executive orders as well. These include undoing an order preventing federal contractors from engaging in anti-LGBTQ discrimination, an order protecting LGBTQ in HUD-funded programs, and an order requiring public schools to treat trans people equally.
If you want to help, you can volunteer your time at a local organization that helps homeless youth (the LGBTQ community is disproportionately affected by homelessness). You can also seek out your local PFLAG organization and get involved with them, and learn how to help as an ally.
If you have money that needs to be given to people, you can send your money to the above organizations. There is also the Trevor Project, which is a suicide prevention group with a hotline that focuses on LGBTQ issues (their number is 866-488-7386). There is also Trans Lifeline (877-565-8860), which works the same way but specifically for transgender folks. You can support the Transgender Law Center, which fights legal battles specifically for transgender individuals. Another way to help is by supporting document changes for trans people, like this GoFundMe.
I should also throw in that I’m currently a part of the American Humanist Association, and looking forward to a project making shelters more trans-inclusive. The AHA is here, and they have an LGBTQ alliance specifically applying humanist principles towards making the world a better place for queer and trans people.
Also, simply make sure to reach out to your queer friends and family, and show that you appreciate them. Listen to their concerns, and be available for their needs.
Please feel free to share this piece with others who are concerned with relevant issues.