You may have noticed, Texas is getting scary for LGBTQIA+ people, especially Trans folks. I have been asked what polyamorous people (who may or may not identify as LGBTQIA+) can do to be good allies in these difficult times.
Whether you are supporting someone in your family, a friend, or even a stranger, here are my thoughts:
· Wave your flag – if you feel safe to do so, wear your queer/trans friendly pins and t-shirts, share your pronouns, and carry your literal pride flags in public. Let the vulnerable people around you know that they are not alone, and let the haters know that their targets have allies nearby. Whether you’re just wearing a pin or yelling into a bullhorn at a protest, be visible in your support where you can.
· Become knowledgeable – listen to first-hand accounts from queer/trans people, read about what’s happening in the legal sphere, and understand the general culture of fuckery that the right wing is pushing right now. This also means knowing your history and context; trans folks are the current main target of hate and cruelty, but they weren’t the first and won’t be the last.
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
· Be an active participant and leverage your power – if you have the power to shape policies in your workplace or neighborhood or place of worship or government, consider and include the needs of queer/trans people overtly or covertly. I used to work in public service, and found that even in Texas there were little opportunities to make nudges and tweaks in rules and policies to make things suck less. If you have a position of power in any organization, look for opportunities to advocate for queer/trans people when you have the chance and intervene if you see injustice or unkindness.
· Donate – money (or time) matters! If you have the extra money, or are willing to consciously give up a luxury here or there to help the cause, even a few extra dollars can make a difference. There are big groups like Lambda Legal (https://lambdalegal.org/ ) who are fighting in the court system, and there are tiny gofundme’s for people who need help with medical care or travel expenses. The Rainbow Railroad (https://www.rainbowrailroad.org/) helps targeted LGBTQI+ people get to safety. Time can be just as important – volunteer at a supportive organization, help your neighbor, be present in your community.
What other ways can polyamorous folk support LGBTQIA+ people, whether they are inside our polyamorous communities, or in our neighborhoods?
If you have questions about legal protections for yourself or loved ones, contact me to set up a consultation to discuss your options.