A+ Inbox LIVE! Podcast #16: We Had Each Other

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.

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.

Book Recommendations:
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

Laneia is the Executive Editor and founding member of Autostraddle, and you're the reason she's here. She's 37, has two kids, two dogs, one cat, one Megan, and some personal essays.

Laneia has written 889 articles for us.

33 Comments

  1. Oh and also, I will buy the heck out of any anti-Donald merch you geniuses come up with. Also, I graduated, which means I will be sending monies from my new jorb your way starting next year. Yes.

  2. Don’t retreat to the same things. Don’t retreat to the causes you feel that are easy. Be drawn to the causes that take work. I don’t like Donald Trump one bit, but the American people decided to trust him. Not trust him with their lives but their livelyhoods. If you want to win America back from Trump, volunteer for causes that help those who have been forgotten about. Whether it be the inner city poor, the rural poor or even new immigrants. Win back the voters that Trump stole. If you help them then they will see the hypocrisy of the right. They will see what good you can do.

  3. All of the love to the Autostraddle community! Also I really appreciate being able to read about the highlights of the podcast! I don’t usually have the patience to sit and listen to a podcast (and am a holdout and don’t have a cell phone on which to download it) so being able to read part of it was lovely! Thanks Laneia!

  4. I am not clear but what’s the difference between cobalt and bronze? And can we have a pick your own features memebership? Like can I get the regular page(not the members only one), and the special newsletters, interviews, and podcast only but say for the price of bronze(really have no need for the other stuff)? Or better yet just the podcast and the nsfw stuff with the regular layouts(specially if it means the ads I see get help pay for your bills) for $4 a month?

    • The only real difference between Cobalt and Bronze is the stickers. Originally, Cobalt didn’t exist but it was added to give an option for people who really could not pay more. I was grateful for it when I was very very broke for several months.

      As far as the layout, the only real difference is that on the homepage the sidebar has two widgets: one with highlights of recent A+ articles and another which is the Priority Inbox where you can send questions/comments that will get a response in an article for A+ readers or a podcast. This take the place of the Join A+ ad on the regular homepage.

      I think you have to consider the offers in terms of the effort involved. The layout change happens automatically when you sign in, it’s something that is in place already and there’s not really any regular work to offer it each month beyond typical site maintenance. So it wouldn’t make much sense to offer a price reduction for someone who wants to opt out of it.

      The podcast, on the other hand takes time to create each time, is probably a pain in the *ss to coordinate, and offers personal stories, thoughts and experiences from the staff. It makes sense that this sort of offering is in exchange for greater financial support.

      I can definitely understand wanting to customize the offers, but doing so would involve A LOT of tech work behind the scenes and while I don’t mean to speak for anyone here, I am pretty sure Autostraddle doesn’t have the resources to make that happen.

      On the up side, if you do spring for Silver, you get access to the past podcasts that you’ve missed too. 🙂

  5. I have a few people I can talk to about this with but I’m on leave with a new baby and home by myself most of the day so this was something I really needed. I posted last week how the podcast made me feel so much less alone and that was before the election results. A week later that sentiment couldn’t be truer.

    Having my feelings validated and reinforced and also sort of explained to me (the difference between anger and bitterness as an example) is like a balm to the soul and that is why having community is so important.

    Thank you everything. I’m so glad I have this site to stand by for the next few years and beyond that. Because even after this train wreck the millions who voted for him or who didn’t vote at all are still there.

  6. You know I hope the we can take this opportunity of the Trump presidency and turn it into something positive. I hope we can use this opportunity to get the youth of today to rise and stop the injustice of the world. Use it to safeguard the freedom under threat. Most importantly to get the college students of today to understand that the world is not an easy place. The world outside of academia is a scary place. But if you take the opportunity to volunteer in those scary places and stand up for those who are different then you then it won’t be so scary. To those who are college age, come to our neighborhoods. Not the middle class white neighborhood you are used to. But the poor inner cities, the rural south, the suburbs where all the poor have been pushed to. Volunteer in places like West Virginia where gov’t services are desperate for people. Volunteer your time in places that have been forgotten about. They didn’t choose Donald Trump because they are racist. They chose him because the other side didn’t care about them. College kids put all their efforts into helping their friends in abortion clinics and gay and lesbian rallies. But they ignore their neighbor. Ignore his plight as his factory closes and their is no one to help him. They ignore the inner city family that no one cares about because they live in bad neighborhood. They ignore their neighbor in the rural areas cause they are rednecks.

    If you don’t help your neighbor, how are they ever going to grow to respect you as a person. Politicians operate on fear, not respect. That is what being a good neighbor is all about. RESPECT.

    • It’s a hard pass from me on that. For generations the Republican party demonized Black people in need as welfare queens and drains on the state. Now the white working class (really middle class) needs help and everyone rushes to empathize with them. Racism is a spectrum, and many of Donald Trump’s supporters are racist. The entire country has money problems, but not all of us voted for the people that openly embrace white supremacy. They have never tried to empathize with us. They live in bubbles as much as we do, but the difference is I stay in my bubble because being a Black queer person in rural America is dangerous.

      http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/11/20/magazine/donald-trumps-america-iowa-race.html?_r=0

      https://hbr.org/2016/11/what-so-many-people-dont-get-about-the-u-s-working-class

      http://samadlerbell.com/trump-and-the-working-class/

      The white working class would not have been possible without the racist policies of the twentieth century. So no, I will not work with people who feel I should be beneath them because of the color of my skin.

    • There are many college students who grew up in rural areas or inner cities themselves…just saying. I went to college with people who grew up in abusive foster homes, in homeless shelters, in households where they were the primary breadwinner by the age of 14. I think they’re well aware that the world is not an easy place. And as for “they don’t volunteer in rural places” — well, yeah, people mostly volunteer in the places they live in, and many colleges are several hours’ drive away from a rural area, and many college students do not have a car.

  7. Just listening to this now in prep for tomorrow, thank you for this. I love all the podcasts and will try to support as much as I can w/ social media shares! Making a mental note to wear my autostraddle pin to my local march this weekend. ✌

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