What You Can Do Right Now To Help Support LGBTQ+ Rights
The LGBTQ+ community has already overcome so much. So, despite the outcome of this year's grueling election, this is definitely not the time to sit around, wallow in self-pity and allow the country's first orange president to boss us around.
Even with Trump's domineering nature and illogical, offensive plans for the future of America — which may very well affect our day-to-day lives — we cannot just sit back and allow him to alter our progress.
We should not stand for an increased number of hate crimes, instances of gay bashing, or discrimination in any form, or at any moment.
There have already been reports of transgender men and women committing suicide after Trump's win — presumably out of fear for what he will do to this country — and we have a responsibility to not allow any member of the LGBTQ+ community to feel like they're alone.
Instead of looking at this turn of events as a dead end, consider it more of a road block.
Appreciate how our community has come together in the past. Continue to stand up for what you believe in.
The best defense is a good offense, and luckily enough, there are so many ways to take action to help support LGBTQ+ rights — no matter where you're located.
Here are 10 things you can do, starting now, to help our community:
1. Speak out and share your personal stories and words of encouragement for others to hear.
2. Extend a hand to anyone who's struggling to come out and feels deterred because of today's election results.
3. Attend rallies, parades, meetings and other LGBTQ+ functions to enforce a sense of community and UNITY.
4. Send direct messages to and vote for any politicians or government officials whom you think can help fight for the freedoms and rights of our community.
6. Stay informed on related news outside of your area so you can champion around those who particularly need our backup.
7. Support and share any powerful, inspiring messages from any members of the LGBTQ+ community who have a large, influential reach (think: actors and actresses on your favorite TV shows, professional athletes, public speakers, etc.)
8. Direct transgender individuals in pursuit of a name change or new ID documents before 2017 to lawyers offering pro bono legal help using the hashtag #TransLawHelp. (Be sure to verify who they are before sharing any private information with them, though).
9. Trace your rights back to the days of Stonewall, and read up on YOUR history. Be inspired by the truly progressive things that have been done in the past to brighten any sense of impending doom.
10. Encourage straight friends to become advocates for you. If they don't know what rights are now at stake for you, inform them. Patiently.
11. Be open to others, and show that you are eager to support them. And most importantly, just love.