Stronger Together

US election

A post-election survival guide.

For those of us who were anticipating a momentous moment in history for women – electing our first female president – the results of this week’s election have been beyond disappointing.

As a lesbian, feminist activist, and psychologist who teaches about the traumatizing effects of oppression on the human psyche, the prospect of losing hard fought rights for Women, LGBTQ, People of Color, and Mother Earth are devastating.

While the results are understandable when we look at the decay of our political and economic system from a purely humanitarian perspective, what could happen to human rights and our ecosystem is unacceptable.

However, in darkness and pain there are always lessons. Understanding what is going on, from a psychological perspective, creates wisdom, which we all need right now.

Upon review of the most recent fight for the White House, it is obvious that our patriarchal-oriented world is still out of balance, in part due to the split between masculine and feminine values in which the masculine is deemed untouchable while the feminine is demonized. When people in a place of unearned privilege (white, heterosexual, cisgender) demonize the feminine – consciously or unconsciously – hate and aggression, misogyny, racism, heterosexism, LGBTQ phobias, oppression, and inequality flourish.

One effective way to enact change is through the education of its origins. How did we get here? What psychological and societal forces are at play? What can we do as a tribe of one nation to heal our individual and collective trauma? Stay tuned as I continue to explore these questions with you. In the meantime, learning how to deal with painful feelings so they can morph into something beyond our initial understanding heals our wounds so that we can move onto the next right action.

How do we do this? By not running from them. If you are grieving, give yourself the space to grieve – grief is a process that runs its course if it is given the chance. If you are angry, stay with it without taking it out on others – it will shift and change into something else sooner than you think. If you are sad, don’t run from it – it will also dissipate if you give it room to be. These mindfulness practices will heal those painful states so that you can then channel your energy in ways that feel good to you.

The election is over but the fight is not.

There has been an increase in violence and hate crimes since Election Day, which has sparked major concerns and plans of actions among LGBTQ citizens. Here are some ways you can help support and ease fears:

1. Be physically present for LGBTQ citizens: Help to provide them with a safe space if you feel that they may be in harm’s way.

2. Contact your local lawmakers: Find out where your representatives are located, then make the call.

3. Learn how to be LGBTQ culturally-competent: If you are a doctor, lawyer, teacher, or hold any other profession within which you deal with the public, you can educate yourself on LGBTQ issues via various resources.

4. Donate To LGBTQ Organizations and Allies: Organizations such as GLAAD, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, and Lamdba Legal are experiencing upticks in donations since Election Day.