An open letter from our Executive Director, Molly Rose Quinn
Dear friends and family,
A few days ago we sent out a community survey (we need your input!), which asks What does it mean to be LGBTQ+ during the COVID-19 pandemic? The final answer to that question will take some time, but here is what I know so far:
Amid a global health crisis, LGBTQ+ individuals are driven by our legacy: that Health is a human right. Being LGBTQ+, for me, also means faith in community-based services. We have in the past and we will again be called to fight for ourselves: Our healthcare, our housing, our visibility, and our pride.
I will be frank with you: Our community is hurting. LGBTQ+ individuals in the South are significantly more likely to be underinsured, to work in the industries impacted by the stay-at-home orders, and to experience housing instability, mental health issues, addiction, and intimate partner violence. Our youth who live with disaffirming parents are now isolated from outside support systems. Our Seniors were already disproportionately living in isolation.
Today, we are announcing our robust and growing services in effect through, at minimum, April 30. Check them out here. Our staff members, who have put themselves onto the front lines with no hesitation, are working under intentional, proactive safety measures. We will preserve their employment and their health at all costs.
As you know, this week would have marked the launch of operations on our overnight shelter and emergency center for youth experiencing homelessness. Our staff team, including Metamorphosis Project Director Stephanie Bell, are working around the clock to determine how to use this new facility to support a shifting crisis.
From this point forward, for the indefinite future, the profound social and economic impacts of the pandemic will be our cause. We are lucky to do that work with guiding lights: Our queer legacy, and our OUTMemphis mission: To empower, connect, educate, and advocate.
With your teamwork, no event, large or small, will deter our efforts.
Molly Rose Quinn