Rebel Well: A Starter Survival Guide To A Trumped America
On November 8th, Election Day in the United States ended with an unexpected -- and, for the majority of Americans who voted, an unsupported and unwanted -- win for Donald Trump for the Presidency.
Under a Trump administration many of us are going to hurt, get hurt or struggle, or find our existing struggles are made even more difficult. Many of us will need to protect ourselves; many others will need help, protection and solidarity from others.
We've created this survival guide -- available as both an online version and a printable packet -- to provide information that can help you take some initial steps to protect yourself and others, and to cope with the bad stuff as best anyone can. Unfortunately, it's not going to magic all of the awful away. But it can help to reduce harms and, hopefully, help you and all of us get through this, and with our senses of self and humanity still intact and perhaps even improved through our own personal and political resistance.
There is little suggested in this guide that isn’t a good idea to be doing, no matter what. If more people were already doing many of these things, we may not have wound up in this spot in the first place, or would have been better equipped to more strongly reject it and resist it from the start.
In the wonderful event we’re wrong about what we're all facing, none of these things will be a waste of your time. Most of what's advised here makes it more likely, whatever the circumstance, that we and others will be okay. And some of what we suggest in this guide, particularly when it comes to supporting and helping each other, are the only ways we can keep what’s awful from getting worse and start changing things for the better, not just for now, but for the future, so we may never wind up dealing with something this epically big and bad for just about everyone again.
table of contents
- why we made this guide
- for everyone
- relationships & sex
- conflict resolution
- for those suffering harassment online, at school or at work
- for those in abusive/controlling relationships, or who are homeless, transient or in the foster system
- for those who are trans or LGBQ
- for those who are of color
- for those who experience religious intolerance or who are undocumented citizens
- for those who are disabled
- for those interacting with the justice system
- for those engaging in active protest
- when everything seems terrible or nowhere feels safe
- how to help each other & improve this godawful mess
- resources and helplines
HOW TO USE THIS RESOURCE
Make a to-do list for yourself: Look through the table of contents to locate sections that directly apply to you or your family. Generate a to-do list, with the most pressing and time sensitive items first. As you develop a concrete plan, ask for help and cultivate a support network.
Make a to-do list to help others: Use sections of this guide that don’t apply to you for inspiration to create an action plan for helping others. Reach out to people who might need help to find out how you can support them.
Practice self care: There’s a lot of scary stuff to digest here; just thinking about these issues can be traumatic or trigger past trauma, let alone actually taking steps to protect yourself. Break this guide into chunks. Take breaks. One step at a time. You cannot help yourself or others if you’re feeling overwhelmed and defeated. If you're new to still enjoying your life while also actively resisting, know it can take a while to get the hang of doing both: it gets easier with practice.
Keep it handy and share it: A PDF version of this guide for print is attached to the bottom this page. Make yourself a print copy (or three) to refer to, share with a friend, leave at the library/coffee house/student center, or pass along to a teacher. This guide was made for free distribution, so spread it as far and wide as you like.
Take advantage of resources: Draw on some of the resources we list, call hotlines for information or emotional support as you need to, and come use Scarleteen’s direct services as much as you need. Even though we’re primarily focused on sex and relationships, we are always glad, in this case like any other, to simply advocate for you as a young person and be there to emotionally support you. If we can’t help with something you need help with, we are glad to help you find someone who can.
This guide was created with the help of additional contributors: Edith Corona (Spanish translation), Jaclyn Friedman, Karyn Fulcher, Riley Johnson, Carson Jones, Pam Keesey, Pamela Merritt, Ashleah Nelson, Cassandra Quick, Karen Rayne, PhD, Isabella Rotman (cover art), Sam Wall and Wagatwe Wanjuki.
Some information in this guide has been excerpted or adapted from S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Sexuality Guide to Get You Through Your Teens and Twenties (Heather Corinna; Da Capo Lifelong Books; 2nd ed., 2016).
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Please feel free to share and distribute this as widely as you like either online, by printing copies of the attached PDF version, or both.
Una versión en español de la guía está aquí, y el archivo imprimible en español también se adjunta a continuación. (A Spanish-language version of the guide is here, and the Spanish-language printable file is also attached below.)
We invite and appreciate any additional translations, so long as all original contributor attribution, copyright information on this page and content of the guide remains intact and otherwise unchanged. If you do translate, we ask you to please share your version with us so we can link to it here and help give others access to it. If you'd like access to a Word or Pages file of the guide to make translating it easier, contact us and we'll gladly provide that for you.
We ask those who wish to adapt the content of this guide to make a version more culturally relevant for their own groups or communities please contact us by email at: feedbackATscarleteenDOTcom. Smaller excerpts, with attribution, are of course acceptable and within fair use.
Illustration: Isabella Rotman, 2016