7 Ways You Can Keep Fighting For Your Rights Under A Trump Presidency

It's on.

While it’s tempting to hide under the covers for the next four year, now is no time to wallow in pity: The Trump administration is poised to threaten the rights of women, people of color, immigrants and the LGBT community like never before.

President-Elect Donald Trump And Vice President Elect Pence Hold Election Victory Rally In Ohio
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With that in mind, here are seven things you can do to preserve your rights and help protect the America we love.

  1. Get to know your representatives.

    Woman on the phone smiling
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    Why: Now more than ever, Congress needs to hear from us—a LOT. Sure, it’s important to contact them when you’re upset, but also if you support what they’re doing. When it comes to LGBT equality, career politicians know that, ultimately, they have to answer to their constituents. That means they need to hear from us more than they hear from our opponents.

    How: Follow @GovTrack on Twitter to stay up to date on what Congress is up to. Put contact info for your senator and representatives in your phone, and call them to voice your opinions on Trump and his staff—or any time important bills are introduced or voted on.

    If they do something awesome (like demand an investigation into Trump’s finances), call and tell them you support their efforts. (Congressional insiders say supportive phone calls are rare and very effective.) Make sure their office knows you by name.

  2. Protest Trump’s cabinet picks and conflicts of interest.

    TOPSHOT - People walk past a mural on a restaurant wall depicting US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin greeting each other with a kiss in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius on May 13, 2016. Kestutis Girnius, associate professor of the Institute of International Relations and Political Science in Vilnius university, told AFP -This graffiti expresses the fear of some Lithuanians that Donald Trump is likely to kowtow to Vladimir Putin and be indifferent to Lithuanias security concerns. Trump has notoriously stated that Putin is a strong leader, and that NATO is obsolete and expensive. / AFP / Petras Malukas (Photo credit should read PETRAS MALUKAS/AFP/Getty Images)

    Why: That SNL sketch where Donald Trump appointed Walter White as head of the DEA hit the nail on the head. So far, Trump has appointed a climate-change denier as head of the EPA, an outspoken foe of a womans right to choose as Health Secretary, and a CEO who opposes a minimum wage as Secretary of Labor. If that wasn’t bad enough, a majority of of his cabinet picks vehemently oppose LGBT equality.

    And Trump stands to profit financially from his presidency in a big way: He’s still refusing to put his business assets into a blind trust, giving him plenty of incentive to make choices based on what’s good for his bank account, rather than what’s good for America.

    It’s a recipe for disaster that can’t go unchallenged.

    How: Contact your representatives and senators and ask them to block Trump’s cabinet picks. While you’re at it, urge them to support Resolution 56, which would urge Trump to eliminate flagrant conflicts of interest.

    Call or email the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and urge them to support a bipartisan review of Trump’s business interests and potential conflicts.

  3. Support legitimate news sources and avoid “fake” news sites.

    Lesbian couple spending time together and reading newspaper in their bed
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    Why: There’s no denying fake news played a major role in the election. Uncritical audiences swallowed exaggerated and outright fabricated stories that reinforced negative stereotypes and disproven narratives. (We’re pretty sure Hillary Clinton never ran an underground pedophile ring.)

    And President-elect Trump remains hostile to legitimate journalists who dare to criticize him. He’s even threatened to stifle freedom of the press with new libel laws.

    We need investigative journalists who aren’t afraid to tell the truth—and those journalists need our support.

    How: Buy a digital subscription from a reputable news source, like the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Guardian. Support radio news organizations like NPR and Public Radio International.

    Avoid reposting stories that seem sensational or dubious, even if they support your point of view. Do your own fact-checking before sharing information. And (respectfully) point out when friends share stories that are inaccurate.

    Donate to organizations like the Committee to Protect Journalists. (Tell ’em Meryl Streep sent you.)

  4. Help flip critical legislative seats.

    Democrat donkey facing republican elephant. Political illustration in cute cartoon flat style.
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    Why: As anxious as we are about Trump, the most critical decisions on issues like immigration, LGBT equality, reproductive rights and fair policing are made in Congress and statehouses nationwide.

    States also play a major role in voting rights and voter suppression, which can have a huge impact in a close election.

    How: Sign up for action-alerts from Flippable, which focuses on turning critical seats from red to blue. And support candidates that back your positions by donating your time and money.

  5. Support the organizations working to protect us.

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 11: Lambda Legal Board Co-chair Karen Dixon speaks at the Lambda Legal 2014 West Coast Liberty Awards Hosted By Wendi McLendon-Covey at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on June 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/WireImage)
    Vivien Killilea/Wireimage

    Why: Trump and his cabinet could undermine work done on climate change, women’s rights, free speech, separation of church and state and immigration reform. Thankfully, there are amazing organizations devoted to defending liberty and equality, and combating racism, homophobia and sexism. It’s never been more important to give them our support.

    How: Donate time or money to organizations like the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), HRC, People’s Action, Black Lives Matter, Lambda Legal, and the Natural Resource Defense Council.

    Don’t like any of those? Track down organizations that you think are doing critical work. Send them a donation and ask how you can help.

  6. Get involved in local politics.

    Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman (3rd R) and Co-founder and President of the Harvey Milk Foundation Stuart Milk (3rd L) unveil the Harvey Milk Forever stamp during a ceremony in Old Executive Office Building in Washington, DC, May 22, 2014. They were joined by Congressman John Lewis (L), House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (2nd L), US Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Susan Power (2nd R), and Senator Tammy Baldwin (R). Harvey Milk was the first openly-gay man elected to public office in California. He was assasinated in 1978. AFP PHOTO / Jim WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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    Why: When Republicans have a stronghold on municipal and state offices, they’re able to pass discriminatory legislation like HB2, “religious freedom” laws and unconstitutional abortion restrictions. (They can even sneak odious amendments into otherwise innocuous-sounding bills.) After January 20, it will be even more critical for our communities to be represented in the political process.

    How: Get to know your local legislators—make sure they know you’re a constituent, and that you fully expect them to defend LGBT equality at the legislative level. Say hello when you run into them at your local farmer’s market or theater. Follow them on Twitter and join their Facebook groups to stay on top of what they’re up to. Let them know when you disagree with their policies. Show up at town hall meetings and voice your opinion on critical issues to stop future bills like HB2 in their tracks. If you don’t like who’s in office, help their opponent campaign before the next election.

    Or consider running for office yourself. No, not president—the religious right rose to power by getting on school boards, town council and other small bodies. It isn’t very hard, and we need LGBT mayors, governors and county executives before we’ll ever be able to elect one as president.

  7. Vote.

    Why: If you don’t participate in the process you can’t complain about the results. Change happens from the bottom up—in school boards, town councils, local judgeships. Get informed about the candidates and vote in every election. Remember: An “I voted” sticker goes with everything.

    How: You can register to vote online in 31 states or mail in this form. Find out where your nearest voting station is at Vote 411. On The Issues has voting records for every federal and state politician, but you’ll also need to check newspapers, blogs and other reputable sources for a full picture of the candidate’s stances.

I believe that true, well-told stories have the power to change the world for good. I also love a good listicle.