It’s no surprise that many people, kids and adults alike, are afraid right now. These days are dark and sometimes it feels like every day there is a new battle to fight. But, for many queer folks, these feelings aren’t new—they’re just worse. It’s more important than ever to show up for the LGBTQ community now. After all, every week is a new opportunity for our hard won rights to be questioned, diminished, or taken away.
And while things might seem hopeless, there is always hope as long as we continue to fight. As long as people continue to show up for marginalized communities, oppression and prejudice will never win.
So I’m here to give you some quick ways to show up for the LGBTQ community during this presidency.
1. Get Political!
Contact your legislators by phone, email, fax, or by showing up at their offices. Go to town hall meetings, city council meetings, and local rallies. It’s not enough to be upset or to wait until the next election cycle, you have to show up now. Websites like 5 Calls make it easier than ever to turn passive participation into active resistance. 5 Calls has a rundown of issues, including LGBTQ issues, and gives you numbers to call and a script to read.
If you’ve never called your Senator before and aren’t sure what to say, don’t worry! Here’s an example of something important and relevant to call your congress people about:
Hi, my name is [NAME] and I’m a constituent from [CITY].
I’m calling to ask [NAME OF YOUR CONGRESSPERSON] to denounce Donald Trump’s recent Twitter announcement that the US military will no longer allow transgender troops to serve. Transgender Americans should have the right to serve their country while receiving the gender confirmation therapy they need. It is unacceptable for Trump to strip them of these rights in a series of tweets.
If you leave a voicemail, don’t forget to leave your full street address to ensure your call is tallied! It’s that easy!
2. Get Personal!
Talk to your friends, online and in person, about LGBTQ rights and Trump’s administration. Follow LGBTQ organizations on Facebook and Twitter, and share the posts with your Facebook groups, send them in messages to your friends, or even print them out. Make sure you let people know that these issues are personal for you and your family. Don’t share any information your child hasn’t given you permission to, but don’t shy away from speaking up either.
3. Advocate for the LGBTQ Community at Work
Even if you don’t know of anyone at your workplace who is LGBTQ, that doesn’t mean your workplace shouldn’t be LGBTQ friendly. Write a proposal for how your place of work can be a better place to work for LGBTQ folks or find ways for the business to help LGBTQ people in your community. This could help LGBTQ folks who work there and are too afraid to speak up as well as help future employees and their families feel welcome.
4. Advocate for the LGBTQ Community at Your Religious Organizations
Places of worship are an important place for many LGBTQ folks, especially adolescents. They are a place of understanding and community. If you and your family are a part of a religious organization, reach out to the leadership to ask about LGBTQ issues and what your community can do to help make the LGBTQ community feel welcome and supported.
5. Give Money
If you’re able, give money (or even set up a sustaining donation) to LGBTQ organizations. You can donate to national organizations like My Kid Is Gay or Trans Lifeline. There are many ways to donate locally as well, like donating to a local homeless shelter’s LGBTQ youth program. There are many intersecting issues facing the LGBTQ community right now. For example, queer immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, are especially in need of support. Organizations like United We Dream have specific programs including The Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP) works to empower LGBTQ undocumented immigrants and inform allies. Transgender folks are also in dire need of support. Violence against the transgender community is ever present, as shown by studies from organizations like the Human Rights Campaign. Donating to organizations like Trans Lifeline can make an enormous impact on the lives of trans folks, especially trans youth. Your city might have organizations working closely with these groups—even if you can’t give a lot, it’s important to give.
Amanda lives in Indiana with her growing family of felines and books. She recently earned her BA in Women’s Studies and English and hopes to use her knowledge and skills to destroy the patriarchy, or at the very least create more spaces for communication and engaged activism. Amanda’s hobbies include infrequently blogging, working with nonprofit organizations, rereading Harry Potter, and caring about things. Follow on Twitter @amandandwords