CLEAR’s Statement of Support for SF Queer Nightlife Fund Organizers

March 17, 2020

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This week, a group of San Francisco Bay Area leaders from the LGBTQ nightlife community approached Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research to assist with their organizing for a direct relief effort to deliver support to workers whose employment or income has been disrupted by the current health crisis. CLEAR is providing its logistical and organizational support in furtherance of the goals of these organizers and their effort to create a San Francisco Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund.

One-in-five LGBTQ people in urban areas, like the San Francisco Bay Area, live in poverty, according to research by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Trans people are 4x more likely to make less than $10,000 a year than the general population (15% vs. 4%), according to a study by the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Income inequality contributes to income & savings gaps for LGBTQ households. LGBTQ consumers are less likely to contribute to an emergency savings (49% vs. 55%), set savings goals (42% vs. 62%), or have a credit card (33% vs. 23%), according to polling data produced by Morning Consult and WNYC. Inability to afford medical bills and other unforeseen costs incurred during emergencies like this can contribute to cycles of poverty.

Across the United States, and especially in metropolitan areas the recent closure of LGBTQ nightlife venues and community spaces in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has a major financial impact on LGBTQ servers, entertainers, artists, and contractors, many of whom are already struggling.

In support of the organizers of the SF Queer Nightlife Fund’s effort to respond to this crisis, CLEAR is supplying logistical and operational support for the SF Queer Nightlife Fund’s Steering Committee in meeting its mission-aligned goal of raising, manage, and disburse $200,000 in donations to at least 200 LMI SF QNF Grant applicants to cover life-line expenses (Rent, Electricity, Gas, Basic Telephone / Internet Service, Food, Medical costs, and insurance coverage) during this time of financial downturn.

Juanita More, a local community activist and leader, and member of the SF Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund steering committee has issued a statement calling her community to action: “We need to band together as a community to help support our friends who work in nightlife, now more than ever. With COVID-19 just starting to affect our City, the newly instated quarantine is going to rapidly change the lives of those who help make the magic happen, night after night. The SF Queer Nightlife Fund will secure their stability now and until this pandemic is over.”

Race Bannon, author and leather-community icon, and SF QNF steering-committee member has said of the effort: “Queer nightlife is a renowned and integral aspect of San Francisco Bay Area culture. The people who produce and staff local queer nightlife have been financially devastated by the venue closures resulting from the coronavirus crisis. Funds raised by the San Francisco Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund will help these people stay housed, eat and pay vital bills. The Bay Area is known worldwide as a center for amazing queer nightlife. Let’s keep that nightlife alive by lending a helping hand to those who need our help in these trying times.”

Those wishing to support or apply for relief through the QNF effort as a donor or applicant can use the following links to take action:

The current San Francisco Bay Area Queer Nightlife Fund Steering Committee Members include: Race Bannon, Writer/Activist; Angel Garfold, President, SF Bay Area Leather Alliance; Phil Hammack, Producer, Fog City Pack; Juanita More, Activist,; Mark O’Brien, Producer, Polyglamorous; Just Shannon, Co-Owner, Jolene’s Bar; Spencer Watson, Executive Director, Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research; Joe Weidman, DJ, DAD | SF.