Following the US election result, what can nonbinary people in the UK do to support transgender and gender non-conforming people in America?
Most of us were shocked by the recent election of Donald Trump as US president. Trump appears to change his policies so often it’s not entirely clear what he will do when in the White House. However, from the views he has expressed during his campaign and the people he is appointing to his administration, there are serious concerns about the rights of women and minority groups under his administration. Trump’s vice-president Pence in particular has a reputation as an anti-LGBTQ lawmaker. Transgender people’s concerns include an increase in hate crimes, losing access to healthcare, and losing legal protections from discrimination (1). Trump’s animosity towards immigrants, Muslims and people of colour has been well-publicised and transgender people from these groups will have additional, intersectional concerns.
So what can people in the UK do support transgender people in America?
- Supporting people to change their ID documents before Trump becomes president. See https://translawhelp.org/faqs for two different places you can donate to, and signal-boost the #translawhelp hashtag on twitter.
- Donate to organisations supporting trans people in the US – for example trans lifeline (http://www.translifeline.org/ ). Please add other organisations in the comments.
- Organise community events to fundraise for these organisations and ID document changes.
- Put pressure on the UK government to speak out against any discrimination or human rights abuses by Trump. There’s a risk they will keep silent in the hope of getting preferential trade deals, so pressuring them is important. It should go without saying that this should cover all groups facing discrimination including transgender people. There’s a petition here https://www.change.org/p/theresa-may-mp-make-any-trade-deal-with-america-conditional-on-their-support-for-equality-human-rights , or you could start your own or write directly to your MP.
- Keep in touch with transgender friends in the US and follow transgender activists and organisations online. When wanted by these groups publicise what is going on, amplify people’s voices and make sure any rollback of rights or increase in violence is not forgotten or ignored. However, do be mindful in considering when/how to share information about suicide, for example by sharing details of helplines and promoting people’s reslience (see https://www.lgbtmap.org/file/talking-about-suicide-and-lgbt-populations.pdf)
Do you have any other ideas for things we should be doing to support transgender Americans? Please add them in the comments
- For more information about the possible impact of Trump’s administration on transgender people see any of these links – all have a content warnings for discussion of discrimination and/or hate crimes and/or suicide http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/us/politics/trump-victory-alarms-gay-and-transgender-groups.html ; http://fusion.net/story/368523/trump-presidency-transgender-people/ http://www.vox.com/identities/2016/11/18/13664398/trump-transgender-anxiety
Words by Alex Hilton