Tag Archives: LGBTQ

Give. Thanks.

Black Friday is almost upon us, holiday shopping is set to begin in earnest and many of us are wondering how best to spend our dollars.

I have more than a few folk in my circles who have stated they are simply donating to organizations doing the work that needs to be done, and I applaud them. I can’t think of a better gift to give or receive than knowing a few more dollars went to the organizations standing up for people’s rights, providing needed services to underserved communities and helping more people gain access to all of the rights, responsibilities and privileges that should come standard with US citizenship.

So, I decided that this year for Thanksgiving I would ask you all to give. There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about teaching kids fiscal responsibility by having them divide any money they get into three even jars – “spend,” “save,” and “charity” so why not do a similar thing with our gift giving. Sure, buy the kids in your life books and music and art supplies and science kits but balance that with gifts to charities in their name – that models the kind of thing we’re asking them to do and shows them that you care about leaving them with a better world. And as for adults, unless you have an adult in your life who really needs a thing – donating in their name might be the best gift you can give. I know I wish I could afford to give more to charities, so having someone give in my name feels great!!

And, since I’ve been talking non-stop about taking positive action in the face of a Trump election, what better way to do something good for the world than to donate to a righteous cause!?! Last, there is a national movement called #GivingTuesday, and many organizations can double your gift if you make your donation on that day!

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Since I love you all so much, I decided to make it easy for you! Below you’ll find a list of verified, top-notch groups and organizations to donate to, as well as ideas for local places to look into to make sure your dollars have the biggest effect possible.

First: let me ask you to donate to the people protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. What is happening to them is NOT OKAY and they need all the help they can get!

Once you’ve done that, here are my recommendations for getting the most bang for your bucks.

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  1. Donate to your local public school. Seriously, just write them a check. Almost all of them have a registered non-profit parent organization so you can get your tax write-off and get your employer to make a matching donation, if they do that sort of thing. (And if they don’t – ask why not. They should if they have more than a hundred employees.) If I can make a further recommendation – request that your donation go to arts, music or the library those are consistently under-funded programs and grants are hard to come by for those areas. Also, donating your money there reminds schools that the public still values art, music and literacy regardless of the educational fad of the moment.
  2. Donate to reproductive/sexual health organizations including: Planned Parenthood, Lilith Fund, The National Abortion Fund – or use this to locate your local/state abortion fund, Draw the Line, NARAL, or your local women’s health clinic. (If you don’t have a friend or family member to gift this donation to, I nominate Mike Pence to be the recipient of this receipt. Let him know you stand for reproductive justice! Information on how to do this follows.)
  3. Donate to organizations working to secure full civil rights and human dignity for LGBTQ* folk. I recommend GLBT, the Lambda legal defense and education fund, The Transgender Law Center, and the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Educators Network or GLSEN. Also check your local communities, see who is doing this work in your backyard and give them money. Also, look into the GSA at your local schools, I’m sure they could use a donation in order to help organize! And again, if you want to donate in someone’s name, but don’t have a specific someone in mind, I nominate Mike Pence to be the recipient of this piece of your mind!
  4. Donate to groups working to ensure civil rights for ALL people: The ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Anti-Defamation League, The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, The Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, The NAACP, The Native American Rights Fund, The National Congress of American Indians, The Innocence Project, The Justice Policy Institute, Black Lives Matter… There are more. If I didn’t find your personal brand of activism, check out this handy list of cool orgs… I highly recommend making your donation to these organizations in Donald Trump’s name. Info to take this step is below.
  5. Donate to your local food bank and/or homeless shelter.
  6. Donate to your local domestic violence shelter or organization working to end intimate partner violence and/or sexual violence.
  7. Donate to Flint, MI – those folk STILL need water and help mitigating the effects of drinking poisoned water for too long.
  8. Donate to an environmental group or organization. I am not linking to any specific groups because, I admit to being jaded here – the environment has been in dire danger my entire life, and I have given to many of these organizations over the years and I’m not sure what they are doing that is of tangible benefit to the environment. I feel like this issue is bigger than NGOs. I feel like this is an action we have to take to own smaller cars, drive less, consume less, and put pressure on our governments to invest in greener energy sources while also consuming less… BUT, if you have to spend money, I’d rather it went to an environmental organization than cheap plastic crap, so… (Also, if anyone wants to comment with a shout out to an environmental org they think is doing great work – do that! Post a link. Spread the word!)

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To donate in the name of Donald Trump or Mike Pence, use the info below:

Office of Governor Mike Pence/State House Room 206/Indianapolis, IN 46204-2797

and

Donald Trump/ The Trump Organization/ 725 Fifth Avenue/ New York, NY 10022

moregiving

I’m sure there are organizations and causes that I have missed or accidentally overlooked – please, if you know of an important and worthy org, post a link in the comments, I will do my very best to screen them in a timely fashion.

In the meantime, enjoy the beginning of the holiday season and I hope that you are all able to spend time with people you love.

thankyou

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Naive idealism, Things that work

Ignorant straight gal seeks enlightenment

Based on what happened to the woman who inspired this post – I fear that I am baiting trolls and inviting some serious haters. On the other hand, you all have a solid history of comporting  yourselves with dignity and intelligence here, so I’m going to risk it.

Please note, I am posting from a place of ignorance, and I am asking for help in moving past my ignorance into a place of better understanding. I am posting as an ally in search of better tools and language.

A conversation on one of the Facebook pages I follow has been haunting me – and at the risk of being attacked for my ignorance, rather than helped to understand, I would like to see if any of my people can clarify things for me. Also if any stray trolls or haters do show up, please note you’ll be nuked from the comments. I’d like to start a genuine conversation here and that can’t be done if people feel threatened or attacked.

The scenario is this – the admin for a page posted an apology for a post she made that led “trans*people” (That is how she wrote it) to feel unsafe/unwelcome there. The post in question was her attempt to welcome people of all gender identities and a disclaimer that as a straight woman, she did not understand all the issues/language/etc. around being LGBTQ, but that she was trying to learn and to be supportive and make sure her page was a safe, welcoming place for all people. This post was specifically an attempt to reach out to trans identified people who had commented that they felt left out by the feminist movement as a whole.

Based on the apology, it was less the post, and more the barrage of hate/fear/ignorance filled comments that followed that upset people.

The first comment that followed this apology was a woman who admitted she hadn’t read the original post, or the comments, but that “Trans people” didn’t cut it for her.

She said that she was born a man and had gone through the transition in order to live as a full woman, with a body that matched the person inside it.

She was upset by the “constant ‘innocent’ exclusion wording of women who happen to be different’.

The admin again apologized, explaining that she had used “trans*people” as opposed to trans women or trans men in an attempt to be inclusive of all people regardless of where along that spectrum they lived.

The commentor fired back that “trans” was the exclusion word in question. This woman had completed her transition and thus wanted to be identified as a woman.

Here’s the part where my ignorance comes out, and again, I am asking as an ally who would like to understand in order to be more supportive… My question may be phrased inappropriately, or insensitively, not because I want to hurt anyone, but because I am genuinely ignorant on some of these topics.

Please educate me.

If you are a woman who was born into a man’s body and you don’t want to identify as trans because you’ve completed the transition and are now living as a woman and you’re on a feminist page that talks about women’s rights and women’s issues… Why not identify with the posts about women’s rights and women’s issues?

Why get upset that the admin is trying to reach out to people who still identify as trans?

Why take it personally that she uses the word/prefix “trans”?

And, if you are upset and you do start a dialogue about it, why not take the time to educate her and give her the proper language to use?

This commenter never stated what she would like to be called. She identified as a woman, yet she seemed to feel that the term woman excluded her because of her “trans history”, as did the trans prefix, because her transition was complete. I am ignorant, clearly so is this admin – what is left in our language to use?

How can we be more inclusive?

Unfortunately, English as many of us have learned it is limited in its gender based identifiers. And, on a page that is dedicated to promoting equal rights for all sexes and genders, and to pointing out the harmful effects of a patriarchal system, gender terms and identifiers are going to be used – a lot.

So… Rather than just say, “Your language doesn’t include me, and I’m sick of it.” offer some HELP. Offer guidance.

If the admin has just attempted to come out as an ally, assume she is open to learning and listening.

Give her the tools to do a better job.

As another commenter further down the chain asked, “What I’m hearing here is that if an event/group says they are “trans* inclusive, it will alienate and exclude those people who feel they have completed the transition. But if the group/event says ‘women only’ it will exclude all of the people who identify as trans. Is there any way to reconcile the two?”

trans pride flag

Welcome everyone.

(Also, I am aware that there is a long and ugly history of feminists excluding trans people, lesbians, blacks, Latinas, Asians, men, working class women, and any number of “others”.
My apologies.
I can only speak for myself and the groups I belong to – you’re ALL welcome and included in my world.
People are people, and I hope we can all find a way to live together and support each other.
That is what feminism is supposed to be about – equality.
As Martin Luther King Jr. famously said, “No one is free until we are all free.”)

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Filed under Of Course I'm a Feminist, Rant