Mad as hell over Donald Trump’s abrupt ban on trans people serving in the military? You don’t have to take it anymore. Stop screaming at your news feed and explore one of the many ways available to channel anger over institutionalized discrimination.
Grab a Checkbook
Plenty of organizations already answered the call yesterday to fight for trans people. If you can, make sure these forces have the resources to wage a fight against the forces of bigotry.
The American Civil Liberties Union moved quickly Wednesday morning, promising legal action as soon as the Department of Defense releases plans for implementing the president’s will. The group accepts donations here and will even set up a payment plan if you want to donate regularly to the cause of civil liberties.
Trans Lifeline also went into rapid response mode, releasing data that shows the suicide risk for trans veterans remains 20 times higher than that of cisgender veterans. The suicide prevention group reports it’s been flooded with calls since Trump announced the ban. Find out how to support the nonprofit here.
The Transgender American Veterans Association, founded in 2003, also promises to help trans troops receive appropriate medical care, an especially important mission since health costs seem a primary justification for Trump’s action today. Find out how to donate or join the organization at its official website.
And if you want to make sure every resource goes into fighting for the legal rights of trans troops, check out the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, which quickly condemned the president’s action. “Transgender service members deserve the dignity that comes with serving openly,” said executive director Jillian Weiss. You can make a donation to that group here.
And trans advocates like Lambda Legal have also vowed to stop the Trump policy. Learn more about Lambda's work fighting for trans rights here.
Hit the Streets
If you feel the need to grab some markers and posterboard, emergency calls to action have been issued around the country, and there may be a major protest coming to a public square near you. Public Advocate Letitia James organized a march in Times Square in New York City Wednesday night, for example.
You may also find a protest near you on such vital lists as the RESISTable newsletter. And on social platforms such as Twitter, you can search for hashtags like #transban or #protecttranstroops to find out when groups announce marches or other political protests.
Loop into local Resist groups on social media or connect with local party leaders to find out what marches may be happening near you. If political parties (Democrats) play any role in protests at all, leaders typically use email lists, social media platforms, and phone trees to let regular party participants know what’s happening.
Call Your Congressman
Members of Congress know an angry constituency could be the quickest path to unemployment. While Trump can undo the Obama administration decision to allow trans soldiers to serve, Congress gets a say on the military too, and you should make sure the House member representing you knows you’re paying attention. If you’re not sure who to call, plug your street address in at this website. It will also give you info on reaching your state’s senators.
Make sure to let the folks who pick up the phone know you are a constituent. Any organization can blanket call every member of the House, but representatives notice when the voters who control their livelihood feel compelled to grab the phone.
And if your representatives don’t take an interest in what you have to say, check your state’s division of elections or the Federal Election Commission website and find out who’s running against them in 2018. Maybe you live in a swing district where the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has your right-wing congressman in its sites already. (Not saying party dictates position on this — bless you, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen — but if you have a dogmatically anti-trans congressman, play the odds.)
Regardless, every seat in the House will be up for grabs next year, so someone has probably already filed to run against them. And if not, there’s probably still time to throw your own hat in the ring.
Let Trans People Know You Support Them
Dana Goldberg, host of Out in Left Field, gave advice for resisting Trump's ban on transgender troops, as well as words of support. Watch it below.