In the 24 hours following the results of Tuesday night’s election, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a call center for those seeking help amidst thoughts of self-harm, saw a record spike in calls never seen in the history of the organization. Most calls were coming in from members of the GLBT community, who were fearful of what a Donald Trump presidency would do to their ability to live normal lives in this country.
Regardless of how you felt about Tuesday’s results, this is simply unacceptable. For any population in this country (or any place, for that matter) to feel that profoundly threatened that they would consider suicide, rather than endure the persecution they are predicting is a heinous crime we have committed against our peers and our society as a whole.
No American should ever have to feel like that. Through our actions on election day, we as a nation have created an environment in which people feel devalued, and feel real, heart-wrenching fear. Whether their fears are going to come to fruition is neither here nor there; the point is that their fear is very real to them, and we, as a nation, must do whatever it takes to ensure that every member of our society gets the chance to feel cared for, looked after, and safe.
To anyone reading this, I want to be abundantly clear: you have champions fighting for you all around. You have millions of people who will do anything it takes to ensure that your rights remain intact. You have thousands of advocates working to make sure that you have nothing to fear. And the world is a better place with you in it than without you.
We have a lot of work to do to ensure that all members of society know how important they are and that we value them as people. The fact that we have created an environment that made these people consider suicide is a big slap in the face to all of us, and will hopefully work to wake us up to the progress we need to make to ensure that our country can heal.