It can be easy to feel helpless when in just a few tweets, the president announces a ban on an entire group of people from the military based on gender — and when Congress is threatening to take health care away from millions. However, it's also a time to stand in solidarity with transgender and nonbinary folks who are (and have been) fighting for their health, their lives, and their futures. Being an ally means centering their voices and doing what you can to support them. Here are a few ways to get started.

Not all of us have extra income to donate, but if you do, there are quite a few great organizations working to support transgender folks that could use some of your dough.

The Sylvia Rivera Law project, named after transgender activist Sylvia Rivera, is an organization that seeks freedom of gender expression for all, regardless of income, class, race, or other factors. Their mission, per their website, is to "increase the political voice and visibility of low-income people and people of color who are transgender, intersex, or gender non-conforming. SRLP works to improve access to respectful and affirming social, health, and legal services for our communities." Read more here.

The Anti-Violence Project "empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected communities and allies to end all forms of violence through organizing and education, and supports survivors through counseling and advocacy." You can find out more and make a donation through their website.

The Trans Relief Project provides monetary assistance and education to transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals who need help changing names and gender designate on legal documents such as US passports and driver's licenses. You can read more about their mission and donate here.

Trans Lifeline is a hotline run by transgender people, for transgender people. The hotline runs on contributions, and is primarily for those in crisis. Read more and donate here.

IThe ACA has helped many LGBTQ+ folks obtain insurance and access lifesaving care. In fact, according to an estimate from the Williams Institute, a version of the Republican health care bill from earlier this year could cost nearly one million LGBTQ+ folks could their insurance by 2026. Trumpcare is expected to eliminate the part of the ACA that guarantees coverage for "essential benefit" categories, such as prescription drugs, chronic disease management, and mental health services. (It's important to note that members of the LGBTQ+ community disproportionately struggle with depression and other mental health issues.) The Republican health bill currently being considered also would also slash funding to Medicaid and Planned Parenthood, a hugely important provider of trans medical care, including hormone therapy.

If all of this (rightfully) makes you angry as hell, there are plenty of health care rallies going on around the country right now. There are great online tools (like this map to help you find them; this event calendar for folks who live in New York City) that make planning out a protest schedule easy.

If you're not physically able to attend a rally, you still make your voice heard. If your representative is in support of saving the ACA, tell them to stay that way — if your rep wants to kill it, tell them you oppose their view and why. Here's how to find your representatives and here's how to find out how they've voted. If your reps support the ACA, you can call voters whose reps don't and encourage them to put the pressure on the people they elected to serve them. This Twitter thread includes information on how.

https://twitter.com/benwikler/status/889301332410191873

For transgender and gender nonconforming folks, going to the bathroom can induce a lot of anxiety (and things haven't gotten easier since Trump's inauguration). The website Refuge Restrooms is looking to help ease that anxiety by crowd-sourcing info about gender-neutral restrooms. Add your finds and spread the word.

The path to good health care can be scary for all of us, but MyTransHealth is making it easier to find a doctor who is trans-friendly. The tool has multiple options for gender identity and currently applies to six major cities. Check them out.

GLAAD has created a fantastic list of resources for transgender people in crisis. It's linked here, but here are some important numbers to keep on hand: The National Suicide Prevention Line at 800-273-TALK (8255), The Trevor Project at 866-4-U-TREVOR (866-488-7386), and Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860. For international folks, check out The Trevor Project's list of global resources here.

If you're looking to show up for trans people in person, here are a few organizations you can contact to ask about their needs:

The Trevor Project has a great map with places to volunteer across the country. Check it out and find a place to show up and volunteer in your state.

The Center has been doing great work in New York City since 1983. You can volunteer with them to do a number of things, no matter where your skills lie. Check out their full listing of opportunities here.

For those of you living in the Pacific Northwest, check out the TransActive Gender Center. They look to "empower transgender and gender diverse children, youth and their families in living healthy lives, free of discrimination." Check them out here.

No matter what you care about or where you live, Volunteer Match can help you find a way to help. Check out their listings and get to work.

GLAAD has also created a great list of things to keep in mind for allies, including but not limited to respecting the terminology a transgender person uses to describe themselves and their identity; not making assumptions about a transgender person's sexual orientation; not asking a transgender person what their "real name" is; and more.

Trans and nonbinary people don't have "preferred" pronouns, they have pronouns — they're non-negotiable. If you need a little help getting it right, this doc includes gender-neutral swaps for typically gendered terms, like "sibling" instead of "brother" or "sister." Check it out.

This list is not exhaustive — don't hesitate to do your own research on ways to help, and remember above all to listen to members of the LGBTQ+ community. Allyship isn't a static identity: It's a lifelong process of working in solidarity with marginalized individuals and communities. And it's a process that can start right now.

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