Highlighting the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on LGBTQ people over 50, organizers of the queer dance party Little Gay Brother have teamed with Opening Doors London on a new project to raise both funds and awareness to confront the crisis in the United Kingdom. Their collaborative effort, Love Is Not Cancelled, seeks to support older LGBTQ people who are most at risk during the crisis. The group will use the proceeds from a specially designed T-shirt to fund the effort.
“As the events industry shuts its doors, the UK has lost some of its most important community hubs for LGBTQ+ people,” Little Gay Brother officials said in a press release. “This T-shirt is a rallying call to ALL; created by Little Gay Brother and supported by those who work in nightlife, music, the arts, events, their fans and more; to look beyond the closures and start to help those most vulnerable within our community, as they are in crisis too.”
The organizers of Love Is Not Cancelled hope the campaign will ensure those most at risk will not be alone in this battle. The shirts are available for pre-purchase at the Little Gay Brother webstore or at Everpress.com. They come in both black and white with bright fuchsia lettering, and in sizes ranging from small to 2X large. All profits from the sales of the T-shirts (estimated at not less than £7.50 per shirt) will go to fund Love Is Not Cancelled.
Opening Doors London is the largest charity in the United Kingdom providing information and support to LGBTQ people over 50. It has a variety of programs, ranging from help with housing to companionship and mental health. This population has been hit hard by COVID-19, with some fighting for their lives and others left alone and unable to meet their basic needs. Love Is Not Cancelled is the latest effort by Opening Doors London to meet the new and evolving needs of this community in this time of crisis.
Little Gay Brother is the brainchild of Clayton Wright, founded following his efforts at the 2012 Secret Garden Party Festival. Since then, Little Gay Brother has been the place to be for an inclusive queer dance party experience. By teaming with Opening Doors London to create Love Is Not Cancelled, it hopes to both help and recognize LGBTQ elders.
“Our scene would be nothing without those pioneering trailblazers who paved the way for the freedoms we enjoy today,” Little Gay Brother officials said in their statement. “The older LGBTQ+ generation now needs our help.”
Opening Doors London leaders say their group has an urgent need for donations. Twenty-two percent of the people it serves have no digital access or experience and depend on face-to-face visits to assess and meet their needs. Volunteers are currently attempting to call each of their befriending clients as well as tend to an average of 10 new referrals per day, which has resulted in an escalating need for resources. Donations are being accepted at www.openingdoorslondon.org.uk/appeal/help-us-reduce-isolation.