I Couldn’t Sleep on Election Night….

Instead I wept. And my mind raced with anxiety and concern for the future of our community…

What will become of my friend, a trans asylum seeker from Lebanon, who embodies so many identities that Donald Trump has singled out for discrimination?

What will become of trans people on the edges of the closet who might decide the world isn’t ready for them?

What about vulnerable LGBT youth who already think that they are unlovable?

Maybe you can relate?

As Wednesday dawned, although I was still frightened, the path forward was clear. I had a volunteer commitment that evening with HYPE. I was thankful and hopeful as, amidst the post-election storm of emotion, HYPE represented a safe harbor.

HYPE is both my support for getting through the next four years and also a resource upon which other organizations rely to carry out their missions serving the most vulnerable facets of our community, especially post-election.

For example, HYPE grantee, Trans Lifeline (a suicide prevention hotline for transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender questioning people) received over 400 calls in the first 24 hours following the election. HYPE’s support is enabling Trans Lifeline to expand their services and better prevent self-harm.

When Donald Trump talks about deporting millions of immigrants, I am grateful that HYPE granted this year to Somos Familia – an organization building resiliency and acceptance among the parents of queer Latinx people. And with Vice President-Elect Mike Pence supporting conversion therapy, I also take solace in organizations like Engender, another HYPE grantee this year, that empowers and affirms gender expansive youth.

In times of voter suppression and silencing dissent, HYPE is embodying democratic principles by giving every Unicorn (donors who give $300 or more annually) a voice in the selection of grantees. By coming together and pooling our resources to support the most marginalized members of the LGBT+ family we can help each other thrive. Whatever may come.

Now more than ever, I am proud to be a part of HYPE. And I hope you’ll join us.

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Bri Barnett, Unicorn & HYPE Fundraising Wrangler