How can I show solidarity after Colorado Springs?
November 23, 2022 5:37 PM   Subscribe

Hearing Club Q patrons lament that it was one of the few places where they felt safe touched me in some deep way. No one in this country should have to think about where they can feel safe to be who they are. What can I, as someone who lives 1000 miles away and realizes that this is way larger than Colorado Springs, best do to show solidarity and support, to let the LGBTQ+ community know that I am in their corner? Donate to equality groups? Frequent gay bars? Something else?
posted by DrGail to Human Relations (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am a pragmatist. I would very much rather have money contributed to gun control groups than anything else you suggest. Dead people do not have to worry about how popular gay bars are. I am a fan of John Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions.

Solidarity without action is not particularly meaningful. I do not want to see more people at gay bars, I want to not die.
posted by saeculorum at 5:50 PM on November 23 [11 favorites]

Challenge the "groomers" propaganda where ever it rears its ugly head.
posted by hworth at 6:27 PM on November 23 [16 favorites]

Speak up when you hear hate in your community even if it's your friends or family.

Find out which of your local politicians are writing shitty anti-lgbt laws, and which are opposing them, and support or oppose accordingly with your time and money and voice. Talk about what you find out to other cishet people in your life, and where you're donating, and why. Do the same with gun laws.

Find out what LGBT and gun control organizations in your area need someone to set up and break down chairs at events, or stuff envelopes, or organize donations, or update databases, and show up for that boring grunt work and listen to them and find out what else they're doing that you can support.

Don't worry about signalling to LGBT people that you are in our corner. Find work to do that actively puts you in our corner, and do that work, and that will speak for itself.
posted by Stacey at 6:48 PM on November 23 [19 favorites]

I’m a big believer in locally-rooted activism. Find out what are the organizations helping queer and trans people in your local community, as local as possible, and donate to or volunteer with those organizations.

Don’t necessarily go to gay bars just for the sake of supporting them… this really depends on the bar. Some are explicitly open to everyone while others are really intended to be a safe haven for queer people specifically, and you won’t necessarily be helping by going to one of the latter kind. But if a local gay bar is having a fundraiser for a cause or for their own survival, donating to that would be a good thing.
posted by mekily at 6:49 PM on November 23 [3 favorites]

You can work on building and supporting third spaces that are welcoming to all genders and orientations. Whether that is bars, board game cafes, crafting groups, book clubs, etc. Educate the cis and straight people around you so they don't make stupid (but natural) mistakes. Normalize sharing pronouns when introducing people. It is truly heartwarming when you work to make a space inclusive and it pays off. Providing a place where people feel safe is so crucial and rewarding, but also never forget that it also means being willing to put your body between a targeted person and a gun if it comes to that.
posted by rikschell at 7:12 PM on November 23 [1 favorite]

Hang trans and rainbow pride flags in your window. I know this sounds trite, but being a visible supporter in your community signals to your neighbors what the standard is and lets queer people in your community see that there’s visible support. One of the ways we can confront a culture of othering is by explicitly allying and standing with in a visible way. Being able to hang those flags is an expression of privilege because it’s not safe for everyone to be visible. It’s a great way to use your privilege.
posted by Bottlecap at 11:47 PM on November 23 [8 favorites]

In short, if you want to do this (thank you), the suggestions here are spot on. It's summarized as: you're going to need to be an ally.

Not an ally who only does things like uses pronouns in meetings, or doesn't assume a person's gender based on presentation – which are great as a start – but an ally who is out there, visibly and vocally supporting queer equality. That means political activism, either though marching and supporting local groups or donating time & effort or both. It means keeping up on what's happening where you live – are there any bills coming down the pipe (like the latest trash in the Texas House that classifies "drag" as an adults-only activity AND potentially prohibits people from presenting themselves in any way conflicting with their assigned gender at birth) that you need to speak up against? Are there any organizations, activities that could use help?

Do everything you can. If you can't do things, give money to organizations locally and nationally that need it.

And one last thing on flags: they're small things, but big in other ways. In my neighborhood I drive by a handful of houses that always have Pride flags out – always! – and it warms my heart.
posted by hijinx at 6:31 AM on November 24 [6 favorites]

Hey there - I am a transmasculine person, in the USA. I also volunteer with a Trans-focused activist and advocacy group.

To me? One of the most meaningful things that you can do to help support us is to find the Trans/Queer/LGBTQIA+ groups in the area, and donate time and/or money to them. Those are both concrete actions that can be taken, that will help substantially. If you donate, a reoccuring donation is more valuable than a one time one.

(With that being said, there may be some groups that may not want Allies volunteering in certain spaces. In that case, just donate to them, please. Just wanted to give you the heads up about that.)
posted by spinifex23 at 1:23 PM on November 24 [2 favorites]

As someone who has so many LGBTQ Pan people that I love, I remember feeling intimidated 3 years ago when near Rising Sun Md there was a convoy of mostly pickup trucks with the recent 1 term president flag, blue line, and stars + bars flags. So! I pack my inclusive rainbow hand-held flag, and fly it out the window on the non-highways and put it on my dash when I park. It’s a variation of the flag at home, and supports my teen and their friends. This is in addition to donating and volunteering
posted by childofTethys at 3:03 PM on November 24

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