Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255

Dear friends in the LGBTQ community:

2016 has been a rough year, to say the least. The horrible mass murder in Orlando, discriminatory “bathroom laws,” and now the election of Donald Trump and Mike Pence,  – no one could blame you for feeling like your country doesn’t care about you right now. It must hurt deeply to watch your own neighbors, friends, and even family vote dangerous bigots into power, embolden hate groups, and then dismiss your very real concerns as overreaction. Trump/Pence voters may say they didn’t agree with the bigoted views of their candidates, but the fact is, they didn’t care enough about your rights to prioritize and protect them in this election. In 28 American states, in the year 2016, it is still legal for employers to fire people for being gay. Mike Pence has a history of blatantly anti-LGBTQ legislation, and now Trump has surrounded himself with people who oppose marriage equality. And this situation was made possible by people you know. No one can blame you for feeling like your hope for a better future has dimmed, or like you aren’t valued or respected by your own nation.

But please hear this: you are valued. You are respected, and you are loved. There are millions and millions of people who care deeply about you and your rights as human beings. Only about one third of American voters chose the Trump/Pence agenda – that’s still too many, but the important thing is that far more people rejected them and what they stand for. The majority stands with you.

I’m a straight cis white male, so I’m in the group that’s probably the least directly affected by Trump’s election. I can only imagine what you’re going through right now. I don’t pretend to fully understand your pain and fear… but I don’t have to fully understand it. You are human beings of equal worth to all others, you are suffering, and your rights as humans and American citizens are being threatened – and that’s all I need to know to stand with you, defend you, and support you to the best of my ability.

The holiday season is when people are the most prone to self-harm and suicide. People who feel like they are not fully accepted by their society are even more likely to hurt themselves. If you are feeling hopeless this season (or anytime), please call someone for help immediately. You matter to us, you are valued, and you deserve the same happiness and freedom as every other human being. There are caring people waiting to help you right now. Remember: millions upon millions of your fellow Americans support and stand beside you, and we aren’t going anywhere. We can and will get through this together.

If you are feeling hopeless or considering harming yourself, please call this number right now: 1-800-273-8255.

Note: This message was directed to members of the LGBTQ community, but if you are considering self-harm for any reason, no matter who you are or aren’t, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.

If you are a military veteran considering self-harm, there is a dedicated Veterans Suicide Hotline waiting to help – please call 1-866-382-2287.