Remember that day when we were all stunned silent, glued to the feeds of online news sources, watching the Hillary Clinton blue wasting away to Donald Trump’s red on a televised US map?
It’s been harder for some Americans than others. Suicide help lines for LGBTI in the US were overloaded on that election night, which is why I donated $300 to the National LGBTI Health Alliance for Edge Environment’s April cause. (LGBTI means Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex, by the way.)
Imagine being scared that your society just took a collective turn, mentally and legislatively, to a new order that will persecute you, marginalise you and compromise your safety. Imagine how you might fear for your child or your sibling or your best friend.
Imagine being so scared of the people around you – your family, your neighbours, even your government – that you contemplate not living anymore. Imagine feeling so alone and vulnerable that you pick up the phone to talk to a stranger because that might be the only voice to talk you into other options.
LGBTI kids are twice more likely to attempt suicide than non-LGBTI kids. And that’s undoubtedly an underestimation. We can only wonder how many apparently inexplicable losses were the result of LGBTI secrets hidden even from loving and tolerant families, due to an overwhelming fear of social stigma or self-incomprehension.
Help lines and support groups provide an invaluable service to people in need. They help LGBTI kids and adults, and their families, come to terms with navigating non-binary identities. They provide work-place training and even shelter. Finally, they advocate for tolerance and resolution on a matter that should have stopped invoking hatred a long, long time ago.
I personally believe that the world would be a much better place if people weren’t so awful to each other. I’m happy to enable some of the people who fight for that cause.