Qmmunity: No Place for Bigotry in Health Care

Plus lots of virtual events to remind y’all of yer queer magic


Louisianna Purchase shimmies and shakes at Friday's Virtual Money Spell Cabaret. (Photo by Jana Birchum)

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, bigots be bigot-ing. On Tuesday, Franklin Graham, president and CEO of Samaritan's Purse – an evangelical Christian relief org running an emergency field hospital for COVID-19 patients in NYC – defended his organization's anti-LGBTQIA "Statement of Faith" all hospital volunteers must adhere to: "Marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female." In a Facebook post, Graham called critics of Samaritan's Purse "tone deaf," adding that in order for the org to respond to these objections, Samaritan's Purse is "being harassed into diverting precious resources of time and energy and personnel away from serving COVID-19 patients." (Yikes.) "For 50 years, we have asked our paid staff to subscribe to a Statement of Faith – but we have never asked any of the millions of people we have served to subscribe to anything," Graham wrote. "In other words, as a religious charity, while we lawfully hire staff who share our Christian beliefs, we do not discriminate in who we serve." That may be true, but feats of verbal gymnastics aside, when an organization like Samaritan's Purse actively recruits health care workers that support homophobic and transphobic beliefs, who's to say those health care workers aren't being discriminatory in the care they're providing? Outlets have reported that New York lawmakers are monitoring the hospital's operations closely to ensure patients are not refused care because of their sexual orientation or gender, and The New York Times has reported that plans for Samaritan's Purse new field hospital at the city's Cathedral of St. John the Divine stalled over Episcopal church leaders' concern with Samaritan's Purse's anti-LGBTQIA beliefs. These are good things, of course, but admittedly, these efforts feel, well, too little, too late. It's yet another reminder that the LGBTQIA community needs sweeping federal protections, and we need them now.

2 to Do

Virtual Money Spell Cabaret Bizarre Stripper Burlesque shows you the money, honey, with a livestream extravaganza featuring Sylvia Hatchet, Estée Slaughter, Louisianna Purchase, Ruby Knight, and Head MxTrix themselves, Jinxy Deviate. Fri., April 17, 9pm. $5-30. www.papichurroatx.com.

Virtual BookWoman Book Group Discuss Karen Russell's novel and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Swamplandia!, with yer fellow bibliophiles while practicing social distancing. See online for Zoom details. Thu., April 23, 7-9pm. www.ebookwoman.com.

Q'd Up

Creative Capital Weekly series for creative entrepreneurs. Thursdays, 3pm. IGTV. www.unboundedagency.org/creative-capital-tune-in.

Remote Advocacy Learn tangible ways you can remain active during social distancing. Thu., April 16, 5:30pm. www.equalitytexas.org.

The Stay Home Club BossBabes ATX's weekly virtual gatherings for creatives and entrepreneurs. April 18's virtual work conference features workshops and mentorship sessions. Through April 25. Saturdays, 10am. www.bossbabes.org/stayhome.

I Need Space Gina Chavez brings her signature sound to this livestreamed queer music fest. Sat., April 18, 5-11pm. Donations suggested. www.fb.com/ineedspacefestival.

QPOC Intimacy in the Time of COVID-19 A space for queer people of color to talk about love, sex, and friendship. Sun., April 19, 3-5pm. www.allgo.org.

Nolen at Night Julie Nolen brings live music from her living room to yours. Mondays, 7-8pm. www.fb.com/julieeffinnolen.

Trans Wellness Peer Support Groups For adults (18+) who identify under the transgender and nonbinary umbrella or are questioning. Tuesdays, 5:30-6:20pm & 7-7:50pm. Free. www.outyouth.org/govirtual.

Know Your Herbs Explore the history of Mexican curanderismo. Wednesdays, 6pm. Donations welcome. www.fb.com/thee.gay.agenda.

Want more queer? Visit austinchronicle.com/qmmunity

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Austin LGBTQ, Franklin Graham, Samaritan's Purse, COVID-19

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