Donald Trump's assault on civil rights has occasioned record donations to non-profits dedicated to preserving equal rights for all. The ACLU, for example, received six times its annual average budget in a single $24 million weekend.
Now, Trump's announcement that he'd be reversing Obama-era guidelines protecting trans student rights has triggered a flood of public support for the trans community. Both celebrities and citizens are joining the fight to protect trans rights on the federal level. We'll note that the decision reverts questions about bathroom access back to the states. That's great if you live in California or New York. Less so for Oklahomans.
Much like the backlash to Trump's Muslim Ban included record ACLU donations, people are speaking with their wallets. They may be speaking a little too loud at the moment, because the donation deluge caused the Trans Lifeline website to crash. For those who don't know: The Trans Lifeline is a crisis hotline that involves members of the trans community to help people in need. The $51,000 they received in a little under 36 hours was in part because of activism from the likes of Katy Perry.
Trans friend, if you are struggling tonight, please reach out to @TrevorProject and @Translifeline. Equality for all! #ISTANDWITHGAVIN pic.twitter.com/bgipj0rmqg— KATY PERRY (@katyperry) February 23, 2017
Trans Lifeline Director of Communication André Pérez told Mic that the donations of the past few days comprised 13% of its annual operating budget.
"We still get calls every day that go unanswered because we don't have enough capacity," Pérez wrote via email. "With this money, we will be able to pay for more staffing to work towards meeting the needs of our community as that need grows, with the increasing pressure from the political and social climate."
Obviously, we encourage donations to the website. As Obama said in his farewell speech from the presidency: America works best when we all cooperate to solve our problems. It would be better, probably, if our cooperation wasn't in direct contravention of the government, but we have to work with the reality in which we live.