Resistance and protesting is nothing new for the LGBTQ+ community or any marginalized community. It has been and continues to be necessary in order or us to live our lives as fully as anyone else. As such our community, out of all communities, knows what it means for Black folks to fight against systemic oppression. Not only because we have experienced similar things by virtue of being LGBTQ+, but because we have Black queer and trans people among us who encounter this in their daily lives.
Over the past five days, there have been widespread uprisings across the nation following the police killings of Black folks like George Floyd, Breona Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and Tony McDade among others. Groups have taken to the streets and demanded justice and change.
Here are five actionable things you can do right now to support.
Put most simply, what you can do is go and get physically involved. While some protests are organized with permits and the like as with the Women's March and other actions, others (like in the case of the 2020 uprisings) spread by social media and word of mouth. Pay attention to get announcements for when gatherings are occurring and take your cue from those leading the action; do not escalate these environments. As an ally, you are best used by taking your cue from those leading the action, and if possible to leverage your privilege to protect them.
Also, where possible avoid filming and photographing the event. These are not photo opportunities, or a time for creating content: investigate the purposes behind why you want to post videos and photo to social media. And if you do, make sure to review the footage and photos before and do what you can to minimize posting imagery that identifies those who are at a part of the action. Identifying them could lead to them being targeted by others.
As in the case of drag performer and activist Marti Gould Cummings and singer Halsey, you can also be on hand at the protests providing support. If you don't feel comfortable participating in the actual action in-person, consider whether you can hand out water, or provide supplies. As police have been deployed using rubber bullets, pepper spray, and mace, as well as excessive force, protestors are being injured. Bringing first aid kits and other supplies could provide much-needed assistance.
In addition to brutalizing mostly peaceful protestors, the authorities have begun to arrest them. For some, these detainments can lag on because of lack of funds. To fight this, multiple bail funds around the nation receive donations to pay these fees. If there aren't protests and arrests in your state, consider helping others that need it like the Minnesota Freedom Fund or the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund.
As a precaution, always look into the sources. Over the weekend people were passing around a link that proclaimed to be collecting funds for bail in D. C. The District of Columbia doesn't have cash bail.
As protestors are arrested, many will languish in jail simply because they can’t afford bail.
This is especially egregious in a pandemic, when we’re protesting violence toward Black people.
You can donate to your local bail fund OR @NationalBailOut OR @MNFreedomFund.
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 31, 2020
We can all show up. Find, share and donate to your local bail fund. https://t.co/4AXIl2wYKI If you can't march, give. If you can't give, share.
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) May 30, 2020
— My name is Jaremi! #BLACKLIVESMATTER (@PhiPhiOhara) June 1, 2020
While retweeting and signal boosting stories and footage from the front lines are invaluable, in this moment, take that work a step further. Text, email and call the governmental power players related to these specific injustices like the Minneapolis Mayor and District Attorney, or even the Louisville Mayor's office. When you see other injustices occur, research the local authorities and email, call, or text to demand action. This step is best when done in tandem with one of the others.