Pride in the Time of COVID-19

By Lawrence Pfeil, Jr.

 As Covid19 cases in the United States surge, Florida, Texas, and California each set one day records for new cases, and Tuesday 34,720 new cases were reported nationally, the third highest in one day since the beginning of the pandemic.  All total, there have been 2.4M cases and 122,481 deaths and climbing at a faster rate rather than a slower rate like the rest of the world.

If there is anything more horrific than these statistics and their projections it is the politicization of a public health crisis and the simple, common sense steps everyone can take to dramatically curtail COVID-19 infections.  Under the banner of freedom and liberties, some Americans say it’s their personal choice not to wear masks or stay six feet apart with selfish and carelessly disregard for the fact that the people they would actual be protecting are the people they love and care about.

What’s more, they would be respecting the health care workers who have bore the brunt of this pandemic and will continue to do so.  The men and women of our health care system have always been on the frontlines of every medical crisis our nation has faced and GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality  and the Williams Institute determined  have determined 826,000 LGBT+ people work in healthcare.

Our community has always been deeply involved in healthcare. As one lesbian nurse who spent decades fighting another viral epidemic, not only as a nurse but teaching generations of nursing professionals said, “During the AIDS crisis, I’d tell all my nursing students, ‘learn everything you can right now treating people with AIDS.  It’s not the last pandemic you’re going to see.’”

She spent her career of service at New York City’s storied, St Vincent’s Hospital in the West Village.  During “Stonewall 50,” she contributed this remarkable account.

“St Vincent’s Hospital epicenter of New York City’s AIDS epidemic: Remembered” 

 

From the AIDS pandemic to today’s coronavirus pandemic, heroic doctors, nurses, and EMTs have not only been on the frontline fighting covid19, but many came running to it when NYC again became an epicenter.  All too often they found inadequate medical supplies, but they brought an abundance of personal dedication and compassion to care for strangers who were sick and are dying.

In New York City one of our own, Kious Jordan Kelly became the first nurse to die of covid19.  From The Randy Report 

“Gay Man Becomes First Nurse To Die From Coronavirus In NYC”

Kious Jordan Kelly (image via Mount Sinai Hospital)

Last month the Los Angeles Blade featured an article, “Thank you, COVID-19 nurses!” highlighting LGBTQ healthcare professionals fighting COVID-19 and its staggering impact on our Community, especially the transgender and communities of color.  This is an excerpt from the article.

GLMA, an organization of health professionals advancing LGBTQ equality, just launched a storytelling campaign ‘to spotlight the stories of LGBTQ healthcare workers on the frontlines who are sacrificing for their patients and communities during the pandemic…’”

Jay-Ar Langcay (Photo courtesy Langcay)

“Jay-Ar Langcay, 36, has been a nurse for about 11 years… He contracted COVID-19 at the beginning of March.

“I was not expecting it. I tried my best protecting myself… “ got the result of my test on the second week and really got scared, depressed and cried every night while Facetiming my family in Hawaii,” he continues. “I was scared to die alone in my apartment.”

“I’ve seen my previous patients who contracted COVID distraught and emotional, on top of all the symptoms they were having and I told them about my story,” Langcay says. “I feel their emotions and uncertainties as I’ve felt before and I know it gives them a little hope and faith that they can survive, as well.”

Please read the full article “Thank you, COVID-19 nurses!”

 

 

Pride 2020 isn’t the same this year because to COVID-19.  Even with all the virtual celebrations, it just doesn’t feel like PRIDE with no marches, no rallies, parades, or parties raging on til the wee hours the afternoon.  But if you really want to feel pride, look no further than those LGBT+ health care workers who serve our Community, our allies, and even our haters, yet in their darkest hour of need are all loved and treated equally.

(courtesy LA Blade)
Previous posts from Pride Marches On!
 

“Transgender, What’s the Big Deal?  I’ll Tell You” 

“Podcast: ‘All Good Gay News’ Episode For Pride 2020” 

“Celebrating XXX Broadway Bares, our Fundraising Video Tribute” 

“WATCH: “My Gay Identity”, a 62-Year Old Gay Man”

“Juneteenth 2020: ‘Hear Me Now,’ My Message Continues” 

“’Out 100’ Designer/Performance Artist, Darrell Thorne is ‘Under Glass and in Color’ with Live Pop-Up Exhibit”

Pride Month and Protest 2020, Pride Marches On 

 

Be sure and check out our special “In their own Words” Pride series on Twitter. @TheOUTFront .

And our new  #InstaPride series on Instagram @theoutfront  

Give us a follow and we’ll follow back!

 

 

#PrideMarchesOn

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