feature image background via Heather on Insta
Hi there! This is a Very Special Episode of A+ Inbox LIVE: Post-Election Processing/Fired Up, Ready to Go Edition. Oh damn damn damn.
The A+ podcast is usually only available to A+ members, but obvs this sucker’s available to everyone because all of us have to live with the fact that Donald Jfucking Trump is the president-elect of the USA, bless us. We solicited some questions on Twitter and did our best to answer them here. The questions are below, along with a few resources we brought up in the show. Earlier episodes of A+ Inbox LIVE are available to A+ members (Silver/Gold level), and if you’re into queer indie media and feelings, you can join up here and catch up on so, so much!
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Questions and Answers
Here are the questions and the gist of our responses, in an effort to keep this more accessible!
1. How do we deal with Trump-supporting family over the holidays? If we’re not out?
The Trump campaign managed to demonize several minority populations, so you don’t need to be out of the closet to speak out in support of those groups, or for the queer community. We realize this upcoming holiday is potentially fraught for some of you more than others, so we urge you to take care of yourself and remember that we’re in this for the long haul (four years to infinity), but also, be ready to feel uncomfortable. Take breaks as you need them, then get back out there.
Brittani Nichols has a couple of good threads about prepping yourself for this type of work over the holidays.
1.) Educate yourself. All of the ideologies and theories being discussed are things you can read up on. Use Google. Use libraries.
— Brittani Nichols (@BisHilarious) November 12, 2016
2. Hi, I hate everything.
Same, except for you and the cats.
3. Can you talk about what we can do to use existing laws and resources to make our queer/trans selves less vulnerable in future?
We’re working with a Legal Eagle to get these answers for you! In the meantime, we’re recommending that you get a passport, visit your doctors and dentists while you can, sign up for the ACA if that was your plan, call your credit card companies and request that they lower your interest rate, apply for any government assistance that you’ve been putting off, and consider longterm birth control options. You might also find the Oh Crap! What Now? Guide useful.
4. How do I keep the fuel of my anger alive to keep fighting day-to-day w/out becoming a bitter person?
Stay informed and involved, but know when to take breaks to restore yourself. Surround yourself with other committed and involved people and look out for each other. I didn’t mention this in the podcast, but I’m personally making some art to put up in my home to remind myself and my family what’s at stake and how we can make a real difference, which is cheesy but guess what so am I.
5. What do we do now?
We get shit done. TOGETHER.
6. Social things don’t come easily to me, where/how should I gather community to heal, build, and fight now?
There are options for activism that don’t necessarily involve being social, like donating to orgs or sharing information and organizing opportunities, like via social media. Rachel shares a story about showing up to a sign-making event and just being present and doing the work, even though she didn’t have the energy to really interact with others. We also feel like now is a great time for newcomers to activism because hopefully there will be lots of new faces at these events, so you won’t be alone in that. Keep up with KaeLyn’s Be The Change series for more tips on organizing and making things better.
7. How do we organize? How do you fix one problem when everything is a problem? What can expat Americans do besides send money?
Sending money is good! Support independent media when possible. When there are multiple problems and getting started feels overwhelming, begin where you’re at — identify your strengths and the causes you’re most familiar with and lend your support in those areas. Pick one thing and get started.
8. The safety pin movement- yay or nay? I’ve heard both.
Wear the pin if you want, but know that your activism absolutely cannot end there. Yvonne suggests dropping this conversation entirely and getting back to what matters: doing something. We agree. We wish we hadn’t talked about it as long as we did.
9. What will happen to the Medicaid expansion (in PA and maybe other states?) and who does that affect?
It’s difficult to say with any certainty because Trump has the attention span and knowledge base of a diapered toddler covered in teething crackers in a room full of loud televisions and puppies, but Heather suggests reading Fivethirtyeight’s What Will Trump Do to Obamacare? We’re anticipating a fight within the Republican party. Heather reiterates that you should sign up for the Affordable Care Act if you need to/can.
10. I’m Jewish. Children of Holocaust survivors were the adults close to me and were forces in shaping my worldview. I’m terrified and taking it very seriously. It seems like I’m taking it more seriously than a lot of people. What do you think is going to happen? What are you planning for?
Riese speaks to this as a Jewish person, and she and Heather both suggest you steer clear of equating Trump to Hitler or his presidency to the literal Holocaust, as that’s the quickest way to lose a conversation. Things can be terrible and horrifying without being the literal Holocaust. You are not overreacting. Your reaction to this election is the result of actual policies and politics put forth by the people coming into power next January. Their ideas and plans are on record, and they’re horrifying. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with systems of propaganda used to other groups of people, use those groups as scapegoats, and then weaponize the fears that propaganda creates. One good starting point is How Fox News Brainwashes Its Viewers: Our In-Depth Investigation of the Propaganda Cycle. Rachel draws some correlations between Trump’s presidency and Reagan’s. What are we planning for? We’re planning for the worst.
Way Out There In the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars and the End of the Cold War by Frances FitzGerald
Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by Christopher R. Browning
In closing, we love you. We’re doubling down on our promise to be here for you and support the living heck out of each other. There’s never been a better time to join A+ — even a yearly Cobalt ($30/yr) or Bronze ($60/yr) subscription helps us cover costs and pay queer writers. You can make a one-time/recurring donation or buy some cool merch, too. (Pssst new merch is on its way to you soon.)
A+ Inbox LIVE! theme music and interludes by Stef Schwartz