President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday rescinded federal guidelines that protected transgender students from discrimination by allowing them to use the bathroom of their choice. Allies of the transgender community, however, weren't going to take this decision lightly; after Trump's decision, the Trans Lifeline received so many donations, its website crashed.
The Trans Lifeline is a nonprofit “staffed by transgender people for transgender people.” Its mission is to help transgender people and people struggling with their gender identity through crises. In just a day and a half, the Trans Hotline received $51,000 in donations, with so much traffic that the site’s server actually crashed, Trans Lifeline Director of Communication André Pérez told Mic.
Sometimes people forget that outside of physically protesting or showing solidarity online, one of the most important ways to help protect trans rights is by donating money and time. Many organizations focused on helping the transgender community need funding to do everything from providing legal assistance to training crisis counselors.
"We still get calls every day that go unanswered because we don't have enough capacity," Pérez told Mic. "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."
Some of the traffic to the Trans Lifeline website may have come from tweets, including one from singer Katy Perry. Exposure to the cause from high profile individuals like Perry is part of what helped the organization collect 13 percent of its 2017 budget in the last couple of days.
You can donate to the Trans Lifeline here and find out how to help in other ways here. If you're transgender and in a crisis, you can call the Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860 if you're in the United States and (877) 330-6366 if you're in Canada.
The Trans Lifeline isn't the only organization devoted to helping transgender and LGBT-identifying individuals. The Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention and crisis intervention for LGBT youth, also runs a lifeline. You can call the Trevor Project's hotline at (866) 488-7386, and it's also available in the form of text or chat if you feel more comfortable that way. The Trevor Project also needs funds to keep going, so if you can, feel free to donate, or find out how to get involved, possibly by becoming a trained counselor. Let's keep this momentum going.