Back2Stonewall.com’s 17 Safety Tips For The LGBT Community: Stay Aware, Be Prepared and Trust Your Instincts

Back2Stonewall.com's 17 Safety Tips For The LGBT Community: Stay Aware, Be Prepared and Trust Your Instincts

 

In these scary and uncertain times, with reports of LGBT harassment and violence rising  Back2Stonewall.com would like to do our part and offer these following safety tips to help keep us all safe.

  1. Let someone know your plans for the night: who you’ll be with and if plans change.
  2. Brainstorm in advance ways people can contact and support you.
  3. Be aware of surroundings. Do not wander into unknown territories alone at night.  Even big cities like Manhattan and Chicago.
  4. Travel in pairs or small groups whenever possible in questionable areas.
  5. Locate public spaces and 24-hour businesses to seek help if you feel unsafe. Starbucks has started an LGBT Safe Haven program.  If you feel threatened in any way, shape, or form and there is a Starbucks nearby go inside and tell one of the staff.
  6. Trust your instincts. They are your best defense.
  7. If you feel threatened or unsafe, in any way remove yourself from the situation as quickly as possible. DO NOT BE A HERO.
  8. Use words to alert bystanders and use your body to defend yourself or to get away. Yelling FIRE is the most effective way to get peoples attention in a dangerous situation.
  9. Leave a trail: program Emergency information and police, fire, hospital information into your phone;
  10. Let people around you know when you leave a place. If you are leaving with a stranger make sure someone sees you.
  11. Text yourself or friends about where you’ll be.
  12. Get medical attention immediately after an indecent. Violence can have a physical and emotional impact on the victim.
  13. Report and document the incident. Take photos of injuries, and keep records of e-mails, texts and calls.
  14. Take care of yourself. Utilize friends, partners, family and community centers.
  15. Appear confident while walking in public areas. The more afraid and buckled over you look, the more of a target you’ll appear to be.
  16. When in doubt invest in personal safety, if taking the more expensive cab ride over the bus ride seems like the safer option for you, do it.
  17. Be aware of your alcohol consumption when you are alone and out. Alcohol can really cloud your judgment and perspective of the people around you.

 

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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