CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - For some, being at home for an extended period of time is getting more difficult, especially for those in the LGBTQ+ community according to C’ville Pride President Amy-Sarah Marshall.
Five thousand dollars that would typically be used for in-person events are being repurposed to help support those in the LGBTQ+ community during the coronavirus pandemic.
The health crisis has done more than cancel parades and celebrations. It may also be exacerbating situations for some of the people whom those events are meant for.
"People tend to be very afraid of the discrimination they’re going to face, especially if you think about senior citizens who are in nursing homes or receiving some kind of care. And they often face a lot of stigma for being gay or trans,” Marshall said.
To help those in the LGBTQ+ community, C’ville Pride has set up an emergency fund to help with anything from rent or food to medical bills. That can be especially important if the person is transitioning with medication or suffers from depression.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t seek medical help just because they don’t want to be put in a vulnerable position and feel all that dis-empowerment they might have. So there’s just a lot more isolation. So everything that people feel normally is exacerbated during this time,” Marshall said.
In addition to the one-time grants- $75 for individuals or $125 for a family with independents - Marshall says the pandemic has caused C’ville Pride to open up to different ways to help people connect. The weekly and monthly meetings for different groups have all been moved online. According to Marshall, that’s letting people who previously were not able to be in attendance join the conversation.
"It’s also really nice to be honest that there’s a lot of kids who can’t make it to in-person meetings in during the normal times, right? They can’t,” said Marshall. “Maybe they’re not out to their parents, or maybe their parents aren’t happy with them and so they don’t have transportation, or maybe they’re in Fluvanna, or are too far away. So being able to have the virtual meetups it turns out to be great for any time period.”
The application for the grants is available here. The grant application is open to anyone in the LGBTQ+ community who is 18 or older or is a legally emancipated minor in Charlottesville or the counties of Albemarle, Augusta, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Nelson, or Orange. Funds are available until they run out.