Self-Care Masterpost

My last act for the WoA 2014: a huge masterpost of some nice things for when you don’t feel so nice, divided into categories: Some Nice Websites, Self-Care Tips and Other Resources, Some Quotes, Some Cute Things, and Some Things to Restore Your Faith in Humanity. I recommend not trying to look through the whole thing at once (like I said, it is huge), but if you need it, skim to see what what will help you right now. You can always bookmark it for later if you think you will need it again. 🙂

I don’t think there is anything in here that needs a TW – there are GIFs and moving images but those are noted before each link.

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Sunday, May 11 – Day Seven

TW: Anti-gay violence and death, though no gory details or descriptions given, as well as some reflections the uncertainty of life and what it means to me to have been a victim of violence.

It’s Sunday, May 11, and I’m officially calling the event: the Week of Action 2014 has concluded. I hope those of you who took on the challenge were successful – I know I was, though I was not able to do everything I would have liked to. I will see if I still can’t get the self-care masterpost out sometime soon. And of course, I would love to hear the ways you all took action this week.

While we focused on the stories of those we have lost throughout the week, I would like you to take this day to be hopeful and look to the future if you can. We have so much to mourn for, but we also have so much to look forward to and so much to be happy for. Our community marches toward progress every day, and while it won’t bring these lives back, perhaps it signifies they didn’t die for nothing. You know, it’s around this time of year that it really dawns on me that I am a statistic. I was a victim – and a survivor – of anti-LGBT violence, and if things had turned out just slightly differently on the night I was attacked, I could be a part of a different statistic. And I won’t lie: that’s an extremely difficult thing to grapple with. But since 2011, there have been wins after wins after wins for the LGBT community, which has made it a hell of a lot easier to believe that I have a future – a future full of hope and promise that will NOT be defined by violence. You do too.

Sunday’s theme was rainbow, which symbolizes hope and promise. Of the 189 people on the WoA 2014 list, there were twenty-seven I felt were best represented by the color rainbow and the theme of hope and promise. Their names are below. If you have a few minutes, select a few whose names stand out to do and do some research into their stories (a star by their name indicates that a loved one has spoken about them here.) Who were they? What happened to them?

UpStairs Lounge Unknown #1
UpStairs Lounge Unknown #2
UpStairs Lounge Unknown #3
Camila
Didem
Joe Adams
Guy Andersen
Dalva Dalvanei Alves Pereira
Demetrio Apaza Mayta
Thalia Batista Mendes
Britney Crosby
Victoria da Silva Costa
Marcio Sergio de Lima
Guilherme de Souza
Donald Dunbar
Gerry Gordon
John Lloyd Griffin
Crystal Jackson
Ferris LeBlanc
Puja Mondal
Bobby Saha
Gisberta Salce Jr.
Isa Shakhmarli
Larry Stratton
Tommy Lee Trimble
Doug Williams Jr.
Cassandra Zapata

Love to you as you move forward in the various aspects of your lives. Until next year, friends.

Author: Meg

Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10 – Days Five and Six

TW: Mentions of anti-LGBT violence, though no details or descriptions are given within the post. Content notes for each story are listed on each story’s individual page, but as a general include murder, violence, death, suicide, grief, loss, and slurs.

The event is beginning to wind down and I am starting to lose momentum. My method of taking action today was to share the stories I have collected via the Stories Project, which I will do again here, and to work on transcribing two more interviews: with Jazmin and Aviva, two awesome young trans women of color whose stories I can’t wait to see in their final form.

Mark Brady, Karen Poiani, Wayne Wilcox, Judy Wight, and Christine Thomas remember Rebecca Wight.

Bill Thomas remembers Cathy Thomas.

Clayton Ham discusses his experiences.

Tessa Crawford remembers Catherine and Jay.

The Rev. Rebecca Strader remembers Julie Williams and Lollie Winans.

Friday’s theme was blue, which symbolizes serenity and harmony, and Saturday’s theme was purple, which symbolizes spirit. Of the 189 people on the WoA 2014 list, there were twenty-seven I felt were best represented by the color blue and theme of serenity and twenty-seven I felt were best represented by the color purple and the theme of spirit. Their names are below. If you have a few minutes, select a few whose names stand out to do and do some research into their stories (a star by their name indicates that a loved one has spoken about them here.) Who were they? What happened to them?

Blue (Serenity/Harmony)
Reggie Adams
Kaique Batista dos Santos
Hugh Cooley
Jody Dobrowski
Brandon Elizares
Roxanne Ellis
Dano Fetty
Adam Fontenot
David Gary
Tiffany Gooden
Ken Harrington
Charlie Howard
Nireah Johnson
Ayden Keenan-Olsen
Bill Larson
Bobby Lumpkin
Cameron McWilliams
Zoliswa Nkonyana
Mollie Olgin
Danny Overstreet
Josh Pacheco
August Provost
Sanesha Stewart
Brandon Teena
Stephanie Thomas
Coko Williams
Barry Winchell

Purple (Spirit)
Michelle Abdill
Jadin Bell
Tiffany Berry
Eric James Borges
Horace Broussard
Mark Carson
Becky Dowski
FannyAnn Eddy
Bella Evangelista
Esmeralda Garcia Retes
Jim Hambrick
Jamie Hubley
Duanna Johnson
Corey Jones
Deoni Jones
Dwayne Jones
Brittany Kidd-Stergis
Chanel Larkin
Landon Lopez-Brandies
Cecilia Marahouse
Bud Matyi
Noxolo Nogwaza
Dora Ă–zer
Jamey Rodemeyer
Agnes Torres Sulca
Nikki Williams
Angie Zapata

Author: Meg

Thursday, May 8 – Day Four

TW: Mentions of anti-LGBT violence, though no details or descriptions.

Day four of the Week of Action and not much to report. I’m working on a masterpost of self-care resources that I hope to get up by Sunday – and I’m also working on a masterpost of cute animal pictures, just for those who need something nice on a bad day.

I had initially intended to create a list of links like this for each name on the “In Remembrance” list, but because this time of year tends to be difficult for me, I was not able to complete them all in time. It may or may not be on the agenda for next year’s Week. However, I did want to at least release the one I finished. If you want to learn more about Rebecca Wight’s story, I’ve attached some links to some articles and such below. A star indicates a video will open automatically:

Edit 2014: Removed for misuse, because apparently I cannot post anything about Rebecca’s story without a certain individual trying to exploit it and her. Sorry! See the “Who We Are Not – A Warning” tab for more information. 

Thursday’s theme was green, which symbolizes nature. Of the 189 people on the WoA 2014 list, there were twenty-seven I felt were best represented by the color green and the theme of nature. Their names are below. If you have a few minutes, select a few whose names stand out to do and do some research into their stories (a star by their name indicates that a loved one has spoken about them here.) Who were they? What happened to them?

Catherine*
Gaye
Kamilla
Ian Baynham
Ramazan Cetin
Bill Clayton
Dominic Crouch
Shirley Hauser
Jaheem Herrera
Talana Kreeger
Chloe Lacey
Thapelo Makutle
Patricia Mashigo
Gary Matson
Andritha Morifi
Winfield Mowder
Allen Schindler Jr.
Eudy Simelane
Sihle Skotshi
Emonie Spaulding
Sheila Viegas Silva
Carlos Vigil
Carl Walker-Hoover
Rebecca Wight*
Julie Williams*
Lollie Winans*
Duduzile Zozo

Author: Meg

Tuesday, May 6 and Wednesday, May 7 – Days Two and Three

TW: Mentions of anti-LGBT violence, though no details or descriptions.

Taking action in smaller ways has definitely been helpful for the Week of Action 2014. I’ve yet to burn out – quite the opposite, in fact! I was not able to finish the event in 2012 or 2013, and last year, I had burned out on day one due to sharing my story the day before. Yesterday and today, I continued to share the stories and get people interested in taking action for LGBT people. Going along with the personal theme of “Those Who Survive,” I left a message across my social networks reminding everyone that the world is better for having them in it, a sentiment I would like to extend to my readers here, and I offered to give each person who liked the post a couple of reasons why that are specific to them. As it turns out, a number of people needed those words of encouragement.

I did not have a specific method of taking action scheduled for today, but I did find this while going through my Tumblr. It’s one of my favorite posts of all time about grief – and I’m going to leave it here in case anyone may need it: http://natashakline.tumblr.com/post/49891489650/for-all-those-who-grieve-keep-going-xoxo

Tuesday’s theme was orange, which symbolizes healing, and Wednesday’s theme was yellow, which symbolizes sunshine. Of the 189 people on the WoA 2014 list, there were twenty-seven I felt were best represented by the color orange and theme of healing and twenty-seven I felt were best represented by the color yellow and the theme of sunshine. Their names are below. If you have a few minutes, select a few whose names stand out to do and do some research into their stories (a star by their name indicates that a loved one has spoken about them here.) Who were they? What happened to them?

Orange

Jay*
Grayce Baxter
Raymond Buys
Eric Calitz
Tyler Clementi
Lateisha Green
Bobby Griffith
Rita Hester
Tyra Hunter
Samantha Johnson
Tyli’a Mack
Konyale Madden
Brandy Martell
Clarence McCloskey Jr.
Lucy Meadows
Nizah Morris
Thanh Nguyen
Phumeza Nkolonzi
Phillip Parker
Jack Reese
Matthew Shepard
Betty Skinner
Vlad Tornovoi
Nicolas Van Der Walt
Juana Vega
Perry Waters Jr.
Nick West

Yellow

Justin Aaberg
Luther Boggs
B.B.
Asher Brown
Lawrence CorrĂŞa BiancĂŁo
Taysia Elzy
Jeffrey Fehr
Nicole Galisteu
Skip Getchell Jr.
John Golding Sr.
Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar
Glenn Green
Sean Kennedy
Larry King
January Lapuz
Fred Mangione
Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado
Mitch Mitchell
Eric Mohat
Eyricka Morgan
Michael Sandy
Laryssa Silveira
Ryan Skipper
Seth Walsh
Scotty Joe Weaver
Kenneth Weishuhn Jr.
Simmie Williams Jr.

 Author: Meg

Monday, May 5 – Day One

TW: Mentions of anti-LGBT violence, though no details or descriptions.

The Week of Action 2014 kicked off today – and oh boy is this site getting a lot of traffic. I’m never quite sure how to feel about that, but it’s great that so many people are interested in making the world better for LGBT people.

I opened the event by sharing a list of fifty ways people could take action during the Week. My unofficial theme for the event this year, which I am using to determine how I personally take action, is “Those Who Survive,” which stands for not only those who have survived anti-LGBT violence, but everyone who lives in the aftermath. Because I have a tendency to get caught up in the stories of those who died, I am challenging myself to focus on those who survive and what I can do for them (and myself, seeing as I am also a survivor). Today I promoted the Week of Action challenge through networking, wearing an event shirt, and tying a red ribbon to my bag.

I also re-shared my story, which I wrote and posted on the site last year, on social media. It has been password-protected for the past several months because I feel safer when I can control who sees it; however, I don’t want to hide or return to pretending like nothing happened, so I decided to open it up for others to see during the Week. The password to access the story is “violets” (sans quotation marks – this will be changed next week). Whenever I direct people to my story, I’m always a bit blown away by how many people actually look at it. I don’t mind you all reading my story – just keep in mind, there are nine other stories on the site that are just as important! Mark Brady, Karen Poiani, Bill Thomas, Wayne Wilcox, Clayton Ham, Tessa Crawford, Judy Wight, Christine Thomas, and the Rev. Rebecca Strader’s stories can be found under the tab marked “About the Stories Project.”

Today’s theme was red, which symbolizes life. Of the 189 people on the WoA 2014 list, there were twenty-seven I felt were best represented by the color red and the theme of life. Their names are below. If you have a few minutes, select a few whose names stand out to do and do some research into their stories (a star by their name indicates that a loved one has spoken about them here.) Who were they? What happened to them?

Mylène
Andrew Anthos
Gwen Araujo
Bill Bailey
Paige Clay
Kyra Cordova
Amancio Corrales
Ukea Davis
CeCe Dove
Lorena Escalera
Steen Fenrich
Sakia Gunn
Erika Keels
Leon Maples
Fred Martinez Jr.
Rafael Morelos
Ncumisa Mzamelo
Islan Nettles
Domonique Newburn
Chanelle Pickett
Cathy Thomas*
Eddie Warren
Inez Warren
James Warren
Carmen White
Diamond Williams
Brian Williamson

Author: Meg

50 Ways You Could Take Action This Week

TW: #25 on the list implies loss and the uncertainty of life.

1. Make a point to talk about LGBT issues during the Week.
2. Donate to an organization that serves the LGBT community, especially local ones.
3. Pick a couple of names from the “In Remembrance” list on the WoA site and do some research into their stories. Who were they? What happened to them?
4. Share resources.
5. Speak out against racism, classism, ableism, etc., especially within the LGBT community.
6. Start, run, or join an LGBT-related club, group, or organization.
7. Connect or get together with some people in a similar position as you and have the conversations you need to have.
8. Alternatively, connect or get together with some people in a similar position as you and just have fun! Even activists aren’t all about the issues all the time.
9. Talk to others about the stories of those we’ve lost to anti-LGBT violence.
10. Accept and embrace who you are – and do something to remind yourself that you’re awesome.

11. Reach out to someone and let them know you are there for them.
12. Attend a rally, protest, or vigil.
13. Challenge your own assumptions and prejudices.
14. Combat queer-on-queer hate.
15. Casually bring up an LGBT-related issue in a conversation with friends.
16. Start an LGBT-related blog, project, or craft.
17. Consider putting up a safe zone sticker or something similar where people will see it. In doing this, you send a quiet yet powerful signal to LGBT people that you are a safe person.
18. Take part in an LGBT-related movement or project like the Stories Project, the You Have a Purpose Project, the It Gets Better Project, etc. There are lots!
19. Start a conversation with someone who is ignorant or ill-informed about LGBT issues and educate them.
20. Live another day because you are intrinsically valuable and worthy.

21. Call someone out when you hear them make a heterosexist (homophobic) or cissexist (transphobic) comment.
22. Wear an LGBT-related article of clothing – this is another quiet yet powerful signal that you are a safe person.
23. Reflect on how your experiences have shaped who you are (you can write it down if you’d like.) You don’t have to show anyone – it’s just for you.
24. Be an advocate for one or more of the groups often left out of the discussions. This includes but is not limited to: trans people, bisexuals, pansexuals, gender non-conforming people, asexuals, intersex people, and two-spirit people.
25. Remind someone that you love them today because they may not be here tomorrow.
26. Think critically about how your experience as an (X) person is different than someone else who is (Y).
27. Volunteer at an existing LGBT organization or a crisis hotline.
28. If you’re one of the letters that the mainstream LGBT community focuses a lot of attention on, step back and listen to someone who isn’t. Their experiences and needs are different but no less important than yours.
29. Contact your legislators and show them their constituents support LGBT rights.
30. Allow yourself to feel and react to the stories of injustices and atrocities committed against LGBT people.

31. Ask for help and support if you need it.
32. Attend a GSA or PFLAG meeting.
33. Cut heterosexist (homophobic) and cissexist (transphobic) language from your vocabulary.
34. If you’re a teacher or other kind of educator, work an LGBT-related lesson into the curriculum that often erases them.
35. Blast the bigots. Not everyone, myself included, believes the marginalization of LGBT people will end if we just use kind words and try to educate people. Sometimes the brutal truth has to fly. Go for it.
36. Fight to change legislation, either by removing an anti-LGBT law or implementing a pro-LGBT law.
37. Share the names of some LGBT-friendly therapists in your area; you never know who might be suffering.
38. Come out – if and only if you feel safe to.
39. Make connections with members of the LGBT community – and don’t write off people from a different generation than you!
40. Take care of yourself. Self-care is an action, too.

41. Share your own story.
42. Ask yourself: what is something one of the victims of anti-LGBT violence cared about in life? Honor the human beings they were by taking action toward their cause.
43. Teach yourself about microaggressions – and stop perpetuating them.
44. Listen to someone else’s story.
45. Talk to others about LGBT people who are doing awesome and exciting things. Positive, upbeat narratives are just as necessary and important as the tragic ones!
46. Write about an issue facing the LGBT community.
47. Help amplify the voices of others if you’re not interested in speaking yourself.
48. Challenge a discriminatory practice.
49. Ask someone, “What can I do for you?” or “What do you need from me?”
50. Challenge yourself and don’t feel limited to these ideas. However you take action is good enough if it is meaningful to you. We need everyone – quiet and loud, introverted and extroverted, backstage and center stage, who take big actions and little ones – to change the world for the better for LGBT people.

Author: Meg