Tuesday, November 8, 2016, was a monumental and historic event when it comes to elections. On Wednesday, November 9, 2016, the entire country began processing their emotions regarding the election of Donald Trump to the office of President of these United States of America. But what happens now?
There is a phrase that just a few hundred years ago was very popular, but has largely become unknown in the current century. The phrase “These United States” is the pluralized version of the phrase “The United States,” and signifies the coming together of the 13 original colonies (states) – now it represents our current 50 states – as they joined their strengths and solidified their pact to be bonded together in nationhood. On November 8th, 2016, we watched as that bond of nationhood was put to the test as 2 candidates (one Democrat, the other Republican) battled for dominance in the polls; the winner becoming the next President of these United States of America.
While neither candidate (Sarah’s opinion here) was actually worthy of being the President, they both fought to the bitter end. Hillary Clinton (Dem) did her best to engender positive change for America, to continue the efforts of her predecessors to work towards equality and harmony for all; despite her questionable past in those regards. Donald Trump (Rep) did his best to engender positive change for America as well. (This next sentence is Sarah’s educated belief and understanding about Trump and may possibly not be a shared belief by anyone else.) While he did say that he would create more jobs, he also provoked and encouraged the ignorance, hate, racism, sexism, ableism, misogyny, transmisogyny & transphobia, homophobia, islamaphobia, elitism, and every other people-centered phobia and ism that this country could muster.
On November 8, we witnessed as millions of registered voters took to the polls and voted for their choices. At the end of the night, there was a clear Electoral College winner (despite who actually won the popular vote): Donald Trump. Upon the declaration of the winner, millions of American citizens found a renewed reason to fear for their future. One of the biggest targets of change for the Trump Presidency is the LGBTQIA+ community. Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, have vowed that they will work to repeal every major legal victory that has been won over the last several decades within this community. Numerous other minority groups will also be directly affected by the repeals of these legal accomplishments of the last several decades.
But the most hard hit in these possible repeals within the LGBTQIA+ community is the Transgender / Gender Non-Conforming community……..OUR COMMUNITY!
It is time for us to pull together as a community and protect one another, and fight for one another, and support one another. The Transgender Visibility & Education Network will be doing its best to keep support resources up to date and current. Please continue checking our Facebook and Twitter pages for ongoing postings of articles.
Post-election, there are numerous fears that have suddenly doubled, tripled, and octupled for the transgender community. Some of those fears include:
- Fear of increased hate crimes against transgender & gender non-conforming individuals.
- This one has already proven to be true just within the last 2 days.
- Fear of having gay marriage repealed, for those that identify as gay (transman with a man) or lesbian (transwoman with a woman) within the transgender community.
- The explanations for gay & lesbian above are not complete explanations and are only used for example.
- For reference, my girlfriend and I (I = Sarah, a transgender woman) are planning to get married, but this possibility is now threatened.
- Fear of repeal of the ACA (Affordable Care Act / Obamacare) which will effectively doom more than 20 million people to no longer having healthcare insurance.
- For transgender individuals this means having access to affordable transgender medical healthcare insurance taken away.
- Hormones, surgeries, and other medical procedures will once again have to be paid for out-of-pocket which will effectively render many, if not most, transgender individuals as unable to continue or attain healthcare as they begin or continue their medical transitions (if the individual has decided to begin transition) due to the cost-prohibitive nature of hormones and medical procedures.
- For reference: the estrogen and spironolactone pills that I take every day (1 E & S every morning + 1 E every night) would jump from the small price that I am currently paying to $300 or more
- Fear of no longer being able to attain legal documentation of name and gender changes (driver’s license, social security card, birth certificate, passport, etc.)
- Fear of never being allowed to use a public bathroom without first proving that they are legally allowed to be in that gendered restroom via showing the legal documentation listed above or suffering through abusive and embarassing treatment without said documentation.
Don’ts & Do’s
As our community continues processing our emotions regarding this election, here are some things that should not be done as they are more damaging than helpful:
- Don’t tell a transgender or gender non-conforming person that there is nothing to fear.
- From the list above you can plainly see that there is a lot to fear and that is just the short list.
- Don’t tell a transgender or gender non-conforming person that nothing will change.
- Both Trump and Pence have stated repeated that these things will be directly targeted for change.
- Don’t tell a transgender or gender non-conforming person that everything will be okay.
- Unless you are transgender or gender non-conforming and have lived in our shoes, you do not fully understand the hardships we faced every day before the election, nor the increased hardships we are looking at facing because of this election. For our community, everything “will not” be okay.
Now that you have seen the list of things not to do, here is a list of some things that you can and should do:
- Tell your transgender/gender non-conforming friends and family that you love them.
- Talk to the transgender/gender non-conforming people you know and “LISTEN” to their story.
- Don’t try to tell them their story . . . just listen.
- Ask a transgender/gender non-conforming person how you can best support them as individuals and as a community.
- Stand up and be an active part of the defense of transgender/gender non-conforming individuals and communities.
- Comfort them when they are afraid, or experiencing:
- If you know that a transgender/gender non-conforming person is possibly going to be a danger to themselves, get them to help:
- Actively learn about the issues that transgender/gender non-conforming individuals are facing each and every day.
- AND NEVER STOP TRYING TO LEARN MORE!!
- Call or write your political representatives, both local, state, and federal, and tell them not to take away the legal rights and protections that may save the lives of millions of transgender/gender non-conforming individuals.
- Know that we are grateful for our friends and families and allies.
This election has been hard on everyone involved, but not it is up to you to do your part to keep this country and our lives safe from tyranny and oppression.
Forever In Love!!
Transgender Visibility &