Every four years America hangs suspended between "This is what our President Elect said he'd do" and "This is what President Elect will actually do" for the weeks between election and inauguration.

But between chants of “not my president” at protests across the country and calls from politicians to "take a wait and see approach,” people from marginalized groups have been quietly preparing for the possibilities of that a Trump presidency makes good on all, or even some, of its campaign promises.


“We’re not having a debate here over things like what policy should be or the size of the federal budget,” Heidi Beirich, Director of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center said. “This is a very different thing that has to do with people’s civil rights and it’s scary.”

And while it’s true that there are no policies in place to fight yet, the fear sparked by Trump’s campaign rhetoric has been channeled into intimate changes and personal planning, particularly for women and nonbinary people — the front lines of protection for themselves and often their families and communities.

These are just seven of those people, pictured in their homes, represented in their own words.

Families are moving, IUDs are being scheduled and safe houses are being arranged, to name a few preemptive measures. But the common thread between these planners is that they’re hoping that by taking care of their needs before inauguration, they’ll be better equipped and available to take care of others.

Do you think a Trump resistance should wait until his term and his team start? These folks say their communities can’t afford to hope those campaign promises were empty.

“I don’t know what their policies are going to be, but I’m assuming that I can take these people at their word,” Beirich said.

For many in America, the Trump presidency began as soon his victory results rolled in.



Michelle is getting an IUD: “They think having a child isn’t really asking much.”






Adron is getting sterilized: “I think now is a good time for drastic gestures of self-commitment to the environment.”




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A Muslim activist is creating a safe house network (Identity withheld to protect those she works with): "It's a reality for people."







L.A. is changing their gender marker: “It’s a weird and unsettling feeling to feel like I have to pick one.”




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Hannah is applying for citizenship: “The response I always get is, 'Well you’re the right sort of immigrant.’”




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Tiffany is focusing on black self-care: “Maybe we don’t want to have to constantly be in survival mode.”




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An African American mother and healthcare worker is moving her family out of a red state (Identity withheld to protect her family): “Why is it our responsibility to stay and fix it?”


 Words, photos and videos by Maura Friedman. Mary Helen Montgomery contributed to production.

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Maura Friedman is a freelance visual journalist and multimedia producer based in Atlanta, Ga. using photos, videos, words, code and GIFs to put together award-winning packages. So like, a Journalism Renaissance Woman. Kind of.  Bylines include The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, The Guardian and more.