Since the last U.S. election was won by Republican Donald Trump, calls to crisis lines across the country have tripled. Many of the callers were members of the LGBTQ community or ethnic minorities, who have expressed high levels of concerns that the large strides made in the past decade or so to improve equality are going to recede due to the election results. Steve Mendelsohn, spokesperson for LGBTQ youth suicide prevention hotline The Trevor Project, said that there is a fear that we’re going to go backwards, and LGBTQ people are worried that they are going to lose their rights.
Crisis Services See Surge in Demand
In the days immediately after the election results were announced, both The Trevor Project and Crisis Text Line saw a surge in the volume of people reaching out for help and support. In the 24-hours immediately after the election results, Crisis Text Line scientist, Bob Filbin, said that the number of people reaching out for support doubled to over 2,000 people, many of whom were LGBTQ teens or those who were close to members of the LGBTQ community. The majority of callers were worried about the direct impact that the election results, which will ultimately lead to Donald Trump being the president of the U.S., are going to have on them or their friends and loved ones.
Speaking about the Crisis Text Line, Bob Filbin said that the LBGTQ community, mainly teens, tends to be their most frequent callers. However, unlike election night, callers do not usually ask for support that is directly related to their sexuality or gender. ‘Scared’ was one of the most used words in the texts and calls requesting support, with many of these individuals anxious that they would be put in camps, lose their access to healthcare, or those their right to change their identity. Transgender people in particular faced a lot of concern due to the election results, with Trans Lifeline receiving a record number of 426 calls on election night alone. Greta Martela, director and co-founder of Trans Lifeline, said that the next four years look ‘bleak’ for trans people, with the likelihood that the wonderful things for trans people put in place by the Obama administration is going to be undone.
Surge in Demand for Support
It’s not just the LBGTQ community that is worried about the affect the election results will have on them. Ethnic minorities and those on a low income are also increasingly seeking support and help when it comes to dealing with the election results and the possible ways in which this will affect their future. Because of this, there’s likely to be a demand for students to enroll on courses such as the counseling programs online from Wake Forest University. As the next four years pan out, there is likely to be a surge in demand for counselors in school and other settings.
Are you a member of the LBGTQ community and worried about how the election results will affect you? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.