Perhaps partly thanks to advances in LGBTQ rights made under the Obama administration (same-sex marriage and adoption laws, as well as anti-discrimination laws and guidelines, to name a few), more Americans are openly identifying as LGBTQ than ever before. A Gallup survey released this week found that roughly 10 million Americans now identify as LGBTQ, up from around 8.25 million five years ago.

Throughout his campaign, Donald Trump has made comments and proposed policies that dehumanize and threaten LGBTQ people—not to mention immigrants, people of color, women, Muslims, and people with disabilities, which has left many Americans feeling vulnerable. In Fusion's survival guide to America under Trump, we look at what we can do to protect ourselves and our communities.


What Trump has been up to:

Trump said during the Republican National Convention in July that he would "do everything in [his] power to protect LGBTQ citizens." But his transition team and cabinet nominees tell a vastly different story about the probable intentions of his incoming administration. Vice President-elect Mike Pence, for example, is famous for passing a "religious freedom" bill in Indiana, which allows businesses to deny services to LGBTQ people. Several of Trump's cabinet nominees, including Betsy DeVos, Tom Price, and Ben Carson, have consistent anti-LGBTQ records.


In terms of the Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of same-sex marriage over the attempts of several Republican state legislatures to institute regressive policies banning it, Trump is reportedly considering conservative nominees who could reflect the incoming administration's anti-LGBTQ stances.

Challenging any state-based moves, like the "religious freedom" bills being considered in 10 states and North Carolina or Texas' transphobic "bathroom bills," is likely to end in court battles. And if those battles end up at the Supreme Court or any of the 92 federal courts with vacancies waiting to be filled by President-elect Trump, the chances of LGBTQ rights being upheld are slim.


And LGBTQ people, especially transgender people, stand to be left without important protections as Republicans move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which includes an anti-discrimination provision that was groundbreaking for trans people struggling to access health care.

Who's answering the call:

LGBTQ advocates have been gearing up to support community members and try to defend the ground that's been gained for LGBTQ rights under the Obama administration. National organizations like the National Center for Transgender Equality and GLAAD have launched campaigns to monitor and question rhetoric and policy moves that could affect LGBTQ peoples' lives. Local groups like the members of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects are helping to organize workshops for LGBTQ people on practical needs like name changes and preparing for changes in insurance.


Civil rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Southern Poverty Law Center have also spoken out and said they will be vigilant of any rights violations under the incoming administration.

How you can help:

Some groups were overwhelmed with the response of donations and volunteers in the days immediately following the election. The trick is going to be sustaining that support and enthusiasm for their causes as the new administration kicks into gear and the impact of their policies starts to be felt.


Learning about and supporting local and national groups doing this work (some of which are listed below) could be a starting point. Calling out homophobia, transphobia, and discrimination in our own communities when we see them is going to be crucial in the coming years. So will writing to elected representatives to make the message clear that LGBTQ Americans deserve equal protections and rights under the law.

Reading list/resource links:


Up next on How to Survive Trump’s America: Come back tomorrow to find out how to defend your religious freedom under Trump’s presidency.