Art by Amy Krimm
In the short years of this decade alone, the LGBTQ+ community of the US has experienced a myriad of changes that have come to influence and strengthen not only our community, but governments, societies, and countless individuals worldwide. As a key political player on the world stage, the US has largely come to set an example of acceptance and progress in LGBTQ+ politics that has been reflected many times over in other nations, but could now stand threatened. With the election of Donald Trump comes the ushering in of an uncertain era, where policy decisions regarding LGBTQ+ politics currently stand unclear, and the status of many vital programs and policies could soon find themselves torn asunder. Follow us through this guide as we share support, tips, and outlets where, with enough effort one voice can become many, and one act can become a thousand.
If you want to get involved with the LGBTQ+ community, there are a few great places to start!
- The Trevor Project offers education, help, and volunteer opportunities on their website.
- PFLAG NYC offers a multitude of different services to LGBTQ+ people in New York City. On their website, you can find advice, stories, education, and links to resources for LGBTQ+ people, youth, and on topics such as medicine, schools, and support.
- The HRC offers careers and internships for members and allies of the queer community, and actively work towards equality.
- Eshel, an organization for Jewish members of the queer community, has events and programs, in addition to links to other Jewish LGBTQ+ organizations.
- Here are some links to Muslim LGBTQ+ communities!
- Gay Christian Network is for religious members of the queer community.
This petition was created in response to North Carolina’s harsh ruling earlier this year that deemed transgender individuals unable to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as, only the gender on their birth certificate. Much backlash emerged from corporations and celebrities no longer interested in bringing commerce to the state. Thus far, “#WeAreNotThis: Protect LGBT North Carolinians and #RepealHB2” has gained more than 44,000 signatures of its 50,000 signature goal.
Arizona’s current state law on adoption and state foster care, while in code with national rulings on LGBTQ+ equality, still narrowly grants heterosexual couples preference over queer ones, in many situations essentially allocating queer couples’ homes as temporary foster homes until a straight couple becomes available. This can be detrimental to a child’s mental and social growth as homes, mentors, and surroundings can be subject to change too often in this situation. Kevin and David Patterson, a gay Arizona couple who’ve had experience with this system, would like to amend this law to completely equalize queer and straight couples in terms of foster care and adoption in the state of Arizona.
According to Josh Lehrman, on the day of the Pulse nightclub massacre, the Star Wars enterprise lost its most passionate follower in Orlando resident and life-long fan Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen. Drew and Josh would talk for hours about the films, and when the two saw The Force Awakens earlier this year, Drew even bought a souvenir popcorn container, but neglected to fill it to maintain its mint condition. Josh is now encouraging Lucasfilms to introduce Drew as the first LGBTQ+ character in a Star Wars film, continuing the great progress he cites in representation in the films.
People/Governing Bodies to Contact
This is the United Nations’ campaign for LGBTQ+ rights around the globe. Through video series, celebrity equality champions, and fact sheets with useful information about legal stature, refuge and asylum, and other information pertaining to equality and discrimination. Contact them at email@example.com with any inquiries.
- The United States Congress
Through a Senate tracker and House of Representatives tracker, you can find the legislators that represent your state in Congress, and contact them with information, questions, and anything else that could be of importance to you. Organizing a petition and sending the results, creating a letter-drive to a certain legislator, or protesting outside of your state legislature are also viable options for making yourself heard. Contacting legislators at the state government can level could also prove beneficial. Search “my state legislature” and then the abbreviation of your state to find details on who, where, and how to reach out. For a standard message script for letters and emails, click here and copy and paste.
Ways to get informed:
LGBTQ+ Social Media Accounts
- Brianna Hildebrand (@briannahilde)
If you have seen Deadpool, you might know this talented lady as the Negasonic Teenage Warhead. The actress is very open and proud about her sexual orientation and revealed to her fans that she is gay and has a girlfriend. Hildebrand attends many pride parades and currently supports the It Gets Better fundraiser for the LGBTQ+ community (you can donate via the link in her Instagram bio).
A bisexual activist and writer who explores the problems of biphobia and representation, as well as how race and being religious intersects with being queer. He often discusses these issues on social media and in various articles, and even has a store you can buy some unapologetic shirts from! If you want some stereotype-smashing queer solidarity on your feeds, he’s definitely one to follow!
For all the sapphic women and femmes out there who long to see some positive representation of their relationships -- this is the account for you! Ran by a woman loving woman, this Twitter posts couple photos submitted to them of girls who love other girls and fun threads to take part in, providing you with a sense of community and warmth if you ever need it. They too post information posts on queer sexuality, which so often is overlooked or misconstrued, and are trans inclusive.
LGBTQ+ Publications and Influentials to Follow
A magazine that publishes quarterly. It touches on topics of self-care, activism, personal stories and a plethora of others to support the trans male community.
This twenty-seven year old American actor is commonly known for his role as Connor Walsh on the hit television series, How to Get Away With Murder. Not only is Falahee’s character on the show an openly gay man, but the actor himself is a dedicated activist for LGBTQ+ rights. Following the presidential election, Falahee posted a photoset on his Instagram expressing his thoughts and reaction to the turn of events, and ways we can support minorities during this difficult period.
A YouTuber and blogger who is well versed in discussions of race, gender and LGBT+ issues, and a trans woman herself, Kat Blaque is someone you can follow if you wish to be informed on any of these things. She also shares many posts on her Facebook page as well as creating videos of her own, meaning she mediates many different conversations that you can read if you wish to educate yourself or others, or feel a sense of solidarity with a community online.
Overload yourself with info? Try these breathing techniques to stay calm or to prevent panic attacks.
- The 4-7-8 technique: Inhale through your nose while counting to four. Hold the breath for a count of seven. Then exhale through your mouth while counting to eight. Repeat this cycle a few more times.
- Breath counting: Count on each exhale (for example, count “one” on your first exhale, “two” on the next, and so on). Only count each breath till five, then start over again with one. This will help keep you focused on just your breathing.
- Remember to log off sometimes and give yourself a break.
- Talk to people! Friends, family, maybe a counselor or GSA leader, whoever; sometimes talking to people (it doesn’t have to be about the election!) is the best way to keep yourself grounded
- Sometimes when under stress or anxiety, or simply when you have a lot of things on your mind, it’s easy to forget even basic things like eating regularly. Try to stay hydrated and at least eat a snack every few hours. If you’re extremely forgetful like me, setting reminders on your phone might help.
Activities to Try
- Go for a walk and pick up at least 5 things from the ground. If they are small enough, put them in an envelope, seal it, and open on a later date.
- Take a long bath, maybe with a bath bomb or bath salts.
- Journal! This may seem tricky and a blank page can often be daunting, so here are some ideas to get you started:
- Sit down for half an hour (or as long as you want to) and write down every sound you hear
- Find an old magazine and cut a single random shape from multiple layers of pages and make a collage with the results
- Make lists of the first things that come to your mind
- If you’re still stuck, check out these inspirations!
- Color! If you haven’t started on the adult coloring book craze, now is the perfect time to begin. It’s meditative, relaxing, and will take your mind off of everything else in your life. If you don’t own any coloring books, you can choose one of these from Amazon, or you can print these free downloadable sheets.
Online and Local Queer Community Platforms
- Find Local Community!
- “I think that meeting together with my GSA and other queer pals have done wonders for my emotional stability.”
- Most schools have a GSA (or with a similar name) where you can meet other people in the community to voice concerns and host discussion.
- If you live in a more conservative area where you feel you aren’t safe with going to a GSA, or don’t even have a GSA, try visiting the closest, big city you can. LGBTQ+ centers (you can find a local one, here) can also provide a lot of support and the ability to participate in different events/programs/services.
- Support Online
- If none of the above options are available or right/safe for you, there are many different Facebook groups that you can search and join! I really do suggest finding local community groups so you can discuss your current, local struggles. However, bigger community groups may also be beneficial with advice and a different fluctuation of support.
You can also ask us questions! The Queeries team is always looking for questions to answer and people to help! We never turn down questions, so please don’t hesitate to ask! Link to our Tumblr is: here! You can ask us anonymously or not, or even shoot us an email (link is also on Tumblr) or shoot us a DM here. If you want to see any of our past Queeries advice segments we can be found here.