How can you help people when their problems seem like part of an enormous, intractable system? It’s been a tough month for a lot of people and sometimes problems seem beyond us. However, we can each make a difference as long as we learn how to genuinely help and make sure to look after ourselves.
If you have a question about how to show compassion in difficult, everyday situations, please write to email@example.com.
We received the following request for help:
I have a very close friend who earlier this year came out to their spouse and myself as being genderqueer. Other than their spouse and me, no one knows my friend is transgender.
I had a conversation with them today, and I’m really worried about them. They told me that the week before the election they were giving serious thought about coming out, at least to their immediate family, and perhaps some co-workers.
But after Tuesday’s result, they said they are terrified of anyone finding out about their gender identity. They are afraid they could lose their job, be kicked out of their church, or even be physically harmed, just for being themselves. What struck me the most though, is that they said on top of everything, they also feel guilty for being able to easily hide their gender identity from others and appear to be a “normal white cisgender person”, when they know there are people in the LGBT community who aren’t in that “position of privilege” (their words).
I am at a loss as to what to say to my friend, or how to help; I just listen, and offer to be there for them if they need me, but I want to do more. What do I say to my friend? How can I help them? And how can I be a better ally to the LGBT community, especially now when allies are needed the most.
A Friend of the Show
We also talk about Austin Walker‘s work and Melissa’s lower-stress way of using Twitter.
Please share any comments you have! If you have a submission of an everyday situation where it’s hard for you to be empathetic, write us at: firstname.lastname@example.org