Try doing community outreach to create your inner circle as you recover during this post-election period.
All of us here at Wear Your Voice Magazine are still reeling from the all-too-real results of the election. Take time to nurse your broken heart, but do not isolate yourself. These times call for us to come together and regroup as a band of tender-hearted warriors.
It’s okay to take time to retreat inward, with limited involvement in the outside world. When it’s time to come out of your cocoon, there are things that need to be done in order to heal the world around you.
While folks do need to be on the front lines protesting, it isn’t always possible for people with disabilities, single parents and a myriad of others.
In order to band together, we have to look out for one another. Here are some simple ways that we can help each other and ourselves at the same time.
Step Up By Stepping In
The bystander effect has always been incredibly dangerous to trans folks, cis women, queer people and BIPOC folks. Well-meaning people often find themselves socially paralyzed, not knowing how to intervene. This is called “the bystander effect” and it prevents good people all over the world from helping someone in genuine need.
Half of the battle is knowing that it exists and being able to recognize these behaviors in yourself. It’s time to SNAP OUT OF IT! If you are a white-passing person and in some privileged position in society — be it class or anything else — it’s time to put that privilege to good use to protect others instead of just reaping the benefits.
If someone is being harassed, put yourself between them and the perpetrator of the harassment. Strike up a conversation. Block the other person and draw the conversation away from them. Typically, they get frustrated with being ignored and move on.
Volunteer to be an Escort
Don’t leave a job half-done. If you have sat with someone to help diffuse a threatening situation, great! Now it’s time to make sure that they get to where they are going safely. Tell them where you are getting off and ask them where they had planned to head and if they need someone to stay with them while they transfer or call a cab/Uber/Lyft.
If they say, “no thank you,” respect their wishes. Don’t make it about you. Helping someone can go from “the right thing to do” to “savior complex” in a split second. Keep your ego out of it.
Share Your Safe Space
If you have the spoons and a place to host meetings, safe places, or events, offer it! One of the most valuable things that you can do is simply let people share your home or whatever space you have for gatherings. So many of us are without places to just exist with one another, to revel in each other’s energy and eke out a plan to bring communities together on a larger scale.
If you have a home or a community space that you can offer for meetings, regardless of what the meeting is about, please put it out there. Mention it on Facebook or in discussions with like-minded folks.
Even if you are simply inviting folks over for tea and sympathy, you are saying “My home is open to you, you are welcome and you are valued. I want to hear what you have to say.”
Let’s do away with the hippie-dippy “find your tribe” — it is time to procure your posse and bring the fight to the Capitol!