Hurricane Ian has done all the damage it could possibly do to the people of Florida and it hit particularly hard the LGBTQ+ SW Florida.
Causing a death count of over a hundred, the hurricane has destroyed the southeasternmost U.S. state not only physically, but also financially and mentally.
While attention is being given to the people of Florida from across the country, the LGBTQ+ community of the region seems to be getting neglected.
This humanitarian crisis has cost many LGBTQ+ people their jobs as the industries employing large numbers of LGBTQ+ people are closed, many permanently. The hospitality community members who live paycheck to paycheck and earn the bare minimum income are facing severe housing and food insecurity. Schools are closed, gay bars are damaged, the tourism sector is shattered, and there are presently few options to earn much-needed income. The LGBTQ+ community and community at large are surviving with almost no drinking water.
Over 83,000 LGBTQ+ people in Southwest Florida are in a growing humanitarian crisis due to no power, job loss, and food and water interruption. Over 50,000 LGBTQ+ members are surviving with power outages for over five days.
Some community members have left for their hometowns as it is impossible for them to work or stay amidst the havoc the hurricane caused. LGBTQ community is in shock.
And yet, amidst the huge impact Hurricane Ian has had on Southwest Florida, there is no reporting going on about the dramatic effects on the LGBTQ+ community.
Queer News Tonight reports on the devastation. As part of our expansive report, we invited five community leaders impacted by the storm and leading the relief efforts. Including the well-known drag queen Alyssa Lemay, Naples Pride’s Cori Cracium, Pride Cape Coral’s AJ Cranford, Eden Fort Myers’s Billy Mann, and the Outcoast magazine’s Rachel Covello to share their personal experiences of a hurricane, their opinion on the probable recovery time, and the measures that they are taking to help affected community members.
These community leaders touched upon various issues concerning the post-hurricane life of the LGBTQ+ community in Florida such as:
– How gay bars are acting as community centers for LGBTQ+ even after they themselves suffered damage.
– How LGBTQ+ businesses are going to be dramatically affected and even lost?
– How can the LGBTQ+ community help each other recover from the loss as quickly as possible by sharing resources?
– How Drag Queens are responding to help.
– Will Pride Festivals be interrupted and returned?
These leaders also discussed the Mental Health issues in the LGBTQ+ and PTSD the Southwest Florida community is experiencing resulting from disrupted transportation, loss of job, shelter, and lack of food.
The LGBTQ+ people of Southwest Florida are in dire need of our support.
We solicit the support of every community member and ally across the US to help the Southwest Florida LGBTQ+ community. Share this exclusive news.
Queer News Tonight is the first channel to cover a LIVE extensive report on the impact of Hurricane Ian on the LGBTQ+ community.
INTERVIEW LINK – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hcLEYLZpYU
People are calling out to non-profit organizations and churches for help. There is hardly any access to drinkable water in the region. People have lost their jobs, schools are closed. No one knows when life can be back on track.
Making people aware of the urgency of this incident will help beautiful Southwest Florida restore its glory.