The election outcome has spurred a wave of fear among our LGBTQ kids.

“We were unusually busy last night," said Steve Mendelsohn, deputy executive director at the Trevor Project on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

As the 2016 election drew to a close in the late hours of Nov. 8, 2016, many young LBGTQ kids were left in despair.  The Trevor Project is an LGBTQ youth crisis intervention organization, and they were just one of many groups our country desperately needed as the clock ticked toward the declaration of a president-elect Trump.

“People are very anxious about what happened," Mendelsohn says. "People are likely scared that their rights are going to be taken away.”


A woman sheds tears at Clinton's election night event in New York. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images.

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender kids are particularly vulnerable right now and have been for the entire election cycle.

Kids were listening when Trump suggested nominating Supreme Court justices who would reverse the decision on marriage equality. They learned about his running mate, Mike Pence, who supports conversion therapy — which is a form of child abuse — and who approved a religious freedom bill that discriminated against people like them.

“LGBTQ youth felt vulnerable throughout the entire campaign when they listened to the rhetoric coming from many of the candidates," Mendelsohn said. "The outcome of the campaign did not make them feel comforted.”

Crisis Text Line, which allows anyone in despair to connect to a counselor through their phone, reported double the volume of texts in the 24 hours following the election. "Election" and "scared" were two words mentioned most by those who texted in. The most prevalent words associated with one another were "scared" and "LGBT."

The day after the election, several transgender kids reportedly committed suicide in the wake of Trump's win.

Image via iStock.

If you are a young LGBTQ person feeling hopeless right now, know that most Americans are standing with you.

This week, more of us voted for a candidate who fights for LGBTQ people and their protections than for the candidate who won (the president-elect won in the Electoral College votes, not the popular vote). Americans — particularly young people — believe in your equality.

If our future president wants to take away your rights, he's going to have to go through the American people first.

If you know a young LGBTQ person, don't just assume they're OK.

They may need to hear your voice right now, even if they haven't shown it. “The most important thing [allies] can do is to let their loved ones know that they’re there for them," Mendelsohn said. "To actually reach out to them and say, ‘I care about you, I love you, and I’m here to help anytime you need me.’"

You can also learn more about the Trevor Project and support the work that they do.

If you are anyone else who's feeling helpless and scared, know that you are not alone.

We've watched an unprecedented campaign built on xenophobia, misogyny, and racism win the election this week. Many of us are feeling vulnerable, anxious, and scared — and rightfully so. Remember that the majority of Americans are in your corner, and we're going to fight like hell for you, your rights, and your future.

We can't think ourselves to a better place on our own, though, and that's OK. There are people who are here to help for exactly that reason.

If you are a young LGBTQ person in crisis, don't suffer in silence. Someone who loves you is waiting one phone call away, day or night, at The Trevor Project: 866-488-7386.

To contact Trans Lifeline, a hotline staffed by and aimed at helping transgender people, call 877-565-8860.

To anyone else in need, Crisis Text Line is there for you, 24/7: Text START to 741741. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is also available at 800-273-8255.

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.