In the wee hours of November 9th, U.S. voters elected Donald J. Trump as their next president. It was the WTF heard 'round the world. I'm not American, but there's no denying that what happens in the U.S. has a direct effect on Canadian culture, our economics, and our environment. I also have strong emotional ties to the U.S. I lived, studied and worked there. I have dear friends and family there. I care about what happens, and from my perspective what's happening now ain't good.
Since Trump's election, I've been moving through the stages of grief like:
Even more anger
Tears, tears, sadness, and tears
I have big feelings, y'all.It can take awhile to work through them all.
But I’ve finally arrived acceptance. Kinda. I accept that Donald Trump is going to be president. I accept Trump and his entourage spent the last year and a half promising to do things that will SUUUUUUUCK for ethnic and sexual minorities, women and the environment
Some folks are recommending that I take “a wait and see” approach. Thanks, but nah. I’m not banking on the premise that Trump’s hateful, erratic rhetoric has all been part of some master plan to win the White House so that he can dismantle systemic bigotry, heal the planet and bring forth world peace. If that does happen, I will happily accept all your “I-told-you-so”s, but for now,I’m gonna maintain a defensive stance.
As a black woman, knowing a man who seems to have my worst interests at heart will soon wield the awesome power of the White House is an intimidating prospect. But as my grief abates, I'm reminded that I'm not powerless. I'm not the leader of the free world, but I'm privileged in that I have some money, a little time and a fair bit of energy. I can support the people and causes I see as being especially vulnerable to Trump’s destructive whims. If you’re looking to do the same, I’ve made a list of organizations that could probably use a little extra love in the days, weeks and especially years to come. This post focuses on US groups since they’ll be the ones most affected by Trump’s leadership. In my next post, I’ll cover similar organizations here in Canada!
For those of you who are more visual, here’s a video which covers all of the same information! If you prefer the written word, skip the screen and read on!
What Do They Do? The Kinsey Institute at the University of Indiana is a world-class research facility focused on human sexuality. They also provide education and training for sexual health professionals. The Kinsey Institute Library and Kinsey Institute Art Collection have a wealth of books, journals, artifacts, videos and other valuable materials documenting human sexual history.
Why Do They Need Our Help? Sexuality research is foundational to sex education. Without it, folks like me wouldn’t have any information to share with you! Unfortunately, one of the many consequences of living in our sex-negative culture is that human sexuality research is often treated as controversial or less “important” than research in other fields. It’s tough for to get grants and other types of federal funding - even under Democratic administrations. Now that the Republicans have pretty much all the power, it’s going to be even harder. Private donations and volunteer work are needed, maybe now more than ever!
What Do They Do? Lambda is America’s oldest legal organization working towards the recognition of full civil rights of gender and sexually diverse people and people living with HIV. They do public policy work, education and litigation and don’t charge the clients they represent.
What Can We Do? Lambda doesn’t receive federal funding. They rely entirely on private contributions. If you’d like to donate money there are several options for one-time or ongoing contributions. You can also get involved by volunteering time at an event or signing a petition to support one of their many campaigns.
Why Do They Need Our Help? As we speak, Trump is staffing his cabinet with people with a history of anti-gay, anti-trans bigotry, including VP Mike Pence, a man who amongst other things, supported conversion therapy for gay people. President Ronald Reagan was another leader who didn’t acknowledge the basic humanity of gay folks. In the 1980s he ignored the emerging AIDS crisis for years, keeping the public in the dark and turning a blind eye to terrible suffering and eventual death of thousands of gay Americans. Organizations like Lambda Legal will help protect and defend gender and sexually diverse Americans even if the government won’t!
National Center For Transgender Equality
What Do They Do? The National Centre For Transgender Equality fight to change policy and laws for the advancement of transgender equality in the US. They advocate at the local, state and federal level and have spearheaded projects like the Racial and Economic Justice Initiative and the Trans Legal Services Network
Why Do They Need Our Help? Are you at all confident that Trump’s administration is going to advocate for trans folks and their civil rights? I’m sure as hell not! The advocacy work that groups like The National Centre For Transgender Equality do is going to be especially necessary during the next four or - please LORD, no - eight years. This is especially true for Black trans and Native American trans folks who are more likely to face discrimination and violence than almost any other group in the US!
What Do They Do? You probably know Planned Parenthood! They have branches around the world. In the States, Planned Parenthood provides sexual and reproductive health care; comprehensive sex education; and do advocacy work at local, state and federal levels for women’s access to both education and health care
What Can We Do? You can donate either to the National Planned Parenthood or to a specific local branch. There are also petitions that you can sign and if there’s a local Planned Parenthood in your area, get in touch to see if they’re looking for volunteers
Why Do They Need Our Help? Planned Parenthood isn’t run by the US Federal government; however they do receive significant portion of their funding from US federal grants. With Trump in the White House a Republican run congress and senate, it’s unclear what will happen, so public support can help safeguard Planned Parenthood’s future!
Sexuality Information And Education Council of the United States
What Do They Do? SIECUS, as they’re often called, is an organization that promotes and supports comprehensive sex ed throughout the US. They provide training and information for teachers and families (kind of like me)! They also advocate and teach policymakers about the importance of comprehensive sex ed.
What Can We Do? You can make a one-time donation to SIECUS to help support their education, advocacy and research!
Why Do They Need Our Help? In the US, sex ed in schools is mandated by individual states; however, federal government policies and presidential positions on sex ed have a significant influence on attitudes towards sex education. The last Republican president George W Bush was a huge advocate of abstinence-only education, which has been shown repeatedly to be ineffective. The current president believes, amongst other things, that sexual assault is NDB when you’re a famous, powerful man, so in my opinion, the youth of America need organizations like SIECUS fighting for comprehensive sex-ed now more than ever!
Women of Colour Sexual Health Network
What Do They Do? group of women of
The Women of Colour Sexual Health Network are a group of women of colour, who focus on the sexual and reproductive needs of women of colour. The Women of Colour Sexual Health Network or WOCSHN are a collective of sexuality professionals, who identify as people of colour. They provide education, counselling, and health care, provide critical commentary about the sexual and reproductive needs of women of colour, publish journal articles, blog posts and other work and present at conferences and other gatherings.
What Can We Do? You can support WOCSHN’s work by donating to their organization. You can also support individual members by checking out the directory and hiring one of their members the next time you need a sex therapist, counselor, educator, author or speaker!
Why Do They Need Our Help? We all know that Trump and his administration have no love for black and brown folks, especially black and brown women. Working as a sexuality professional is a hard hustle at the best of times! With all the racism and misogyny Trump’s dragged up to the surface, it’s going to be that much harder for women to get by. WOCSHN is made up of some of the best minds in the sexuality field and these folks will need as much support moving forward as they can get.