Today we are talking about five steps to make change in your community. To start, in May I attended the DC Bans Off Our Bodies protest in Washington, D.C. The day started off with music and several incredibly powerful speakers. Several of them highlighted the intersectionality of the leaked Supreme Court opinion and transgender rights. To clarify, denying the two are intertwined is a pipe dream.
As Texas, Florida and Alabama double down on investigating parents for child abuse and states put into place trigger, we are all unnerved. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that the court will reverse course on Roe vs. Wade. Texas, Alabama and Florida are dog whistles, trying on laws that will be challenged and eventually fall in front of a conservative court. Instead of pouring over Facebook or Twitter feeds, I have five steps to make change in your community.
Five Steps to Make Change in Your Community
- First and foremost: register to vote. Literally, the most important thing you can do to make a difference is vote. Midterm elections are coming up and local elections matter. Whether they be leaders for the board of education, delegates, or sheriff, we need to show up and bring our friends with us. One of the speakers at Bans Off Our Bodies challenged us to think of ten friends we could text to get them to the ballot. Do that. Think of your list and take action when elections happen in your locality.
- Put your money where your mouth is. If you have extra change to spare, then donate. But we need to be strategic. Literally, I am looking at candidates to support who will unseat undesirable candidates, even if they are not from the party I affiliate with. In our local community, we have an aggressive, transphobic elected official that is successful at the State level. I literally donated to the more moderate Republican running against him in the primary.
- If you don’t have money, volunteer. In the last election, I wrote Postcards to Swing States and phone banking for candidates. My neighbor and I literally wrote postcards on my front porch, our kids did as well. Phone banking is not as intimidating as I expected.
- Research your elected officials to learn where they stand on issues that matter? Here is the link to Congressional Score Cards by the Human Rights Campaigns. Know the facts and talk about them with your circle of influence.
- Write, call, mobilize. The National Center for Transgender Equality follows State bills targeted toward our children, families, and the transgender community. When a bill is “in committee” you have the opportunity to submit testimony. Please visit NCTE’s website here to see where you can make an impact.
During this challenging time please remember that they cannot dim our light. Our children are beautiful, brave, and important. The transgender community is strong. In times of historical oppression, they have risen above and flourished. We will get through this, together.