by the Anti-Violence Project at Center on Halsted
The Anti-Violence Project at Center on Halsted recognizes the stress held by LGBTQ+ community members during this election, where so much hangs in the balance for our community, particularly in terms of safety. After having so many of our hard-earned rights taken away, undermined, or threatened, we are facing the prospect of four additional years of having to remain vigilant.
We are also confronted with the real possibility of violence and civil unrest over the next several weeks. The future holds uncertainty, stress, and struggle, no matter what results occur. Regardless of the outcome, there is still a lot of work to be done in ending interpersonal and systemic violence against LGBTQ+ people.
We offer the following ways for the LGBTQ+ community to be safe and grounded if there is any escalated violence in response to the election:
- We encourage you to stay connected to your community members and see how you can support each other with emotional, mental, and physical needs. Our community will be responding to the impact of this election for much longer than the upcoming week, and we will need to commit to supporting each other for the long-term.
- If you witness harassment or hate violence occurring in your community, intervene and speak up if you feel safe to do so. For a great resource on how to be an effective bystander, check out the guidelines from The American Friends’ Service Committee: https://www.afsc.org/sites/default/files/documents/Bystander_handout_print_english.pdf
- If you experience any kind of hate-motivated violence and are interested in involving the police, the Chicago Commission on Human Relations (CCHR) can help you file a police report at 312.744.4874 or 312.744.2571.
- We encourage you to care for yourself as we go through this time. Some suggestions we have as AVP Staff are to reduce social media intake, engage in activities you enjoy, practice any mindfulness or meditation practices, journal about your feelings, check in with friends, family, and seek professional therapeutic support. We are capable of experiencing being grounded and resting even in turbulent times.
- Our ancestors, particularly our LGBTQ+ ancestors of color and trans ancestors, have considerable lived experience confronting situations that seem hopeless and terrifying. As we have received the impact of intergenerational trauma in the LGBTQ+ community, we can also draw on intergenerational resilience to guide us forward. We draw strength from those elders who fought for the most marginalized of us to vote, as well as those elders who threw bricks at Stonewall in response to their pain in the hopes of moving towards a more just world.
If you or someone you know are currently feeling unsafe, targeted, or isolated, and needing support in these difficult times, you can reach out to the Anti-Violence Project at Center on Halsted for safety planning, counseling, and resources. The Anti-Violence Project team can be reached Monday-Friday from 9am-5pm by calling 773–871-CARE or emailing email@example.com.