The Castro District is stepping up efforts to fight COVID

Written by | The Lens

Sure it’s fun to be catty and share the occasional hot goss, but at the end of the day, our queer family must support one another.

After all, who else will?

We couldn’t trust anyone else to help us during the AIDS crisis. In fact, when the CDC first declared this elusive autoimmune deficiency an epidemic back in 1982, President Reagan immediately deployed his most loathsome spokesperson… to laugh about the deaths of hundreds of gay men.

Vanity Fair recently released a nauseating exchange between bloviating homophobes Lester Kinsolving and Larry Speakes. Luckily, both of these bigots are now dead. We’ll join you for a dance party on their graves after you listen to the audio.

Fast forward to the present day. Humanity faces yet another health emergency, and the same gay men who perished at the hands of hatred and apathy decades ago are stepping up to heal the world around them.

The Castro LGBTQ Cultural District is providing free COVID testing and vaccinations every Saturday at Noe & Market. The group released the following statement on the need for increased resources:

“The existing narrative based on residential statistics has been that the Castro has neither needed vaccine or testing because affluent white cis gay men have insurance. Unfortunately, this narrative ignores the regular influx of our community at large, especially on the weekends, many of whom are members of our community who need this access. Our district’s centrality and location on major transit can help us reach those who need resources, vaccines, and testing the most and help us in our work of reshaping inclusivity and equity in the Castro.”

Carnell Freeman, executive co-chair of the organization, noted a disturbing trend in the health data following a freewheeling (and free-balling) street fair this July.

“After Dore Alley weekend, I saw a major spike in COVID-19 cases among members of the LGBTQ community,” Carnell recounts. “I also noticed that it was hard to find testing sites in our district. As someone who visits the Castro often, I am excited that we now have a hub that can cater to our community.”

Care is the ultimate gift. Even though we were not afforded relief (or even decency) back when we needed it most, our queer citizenry is rising up to battle back this current pandemic.

You’re welcome, but you really don’t deserve us.

Photo: Instagram @photosbygooch

Last modified: September 13, 2021