In light of Cupid's holiday, Chicago drag queens made sure local LGBTQ+ seniors received Valentine cards this year.
Despite a global pandemic, the Chicago Black Drag Council (CBDC), shared the love with homebound seniors impacted by COVID-19.
The Valentine‚Äôs Day Senior Prize project saw drag queens partner with several local bars to create 200 Valentine cards for older people living in Town Hall Apartments, Halsted, according to NBC Chicago.
‚ÄúWithin the LGBTQ+ community, we can find ourselves often out-aged or overlooked and it‚Äôs important that we make sure that doesn‚Äôt happen," said drag queen and co-founder of the CDBC, Jo Mama. "It‚Äôs our inherent responsibility to give back to the people who opened the doors for us.‚Äù
Being that the CBDC is a Black, LGBTQ+ led organization, the group aims to "connect and support not only drag performers, but all parts of the community."
Additionally, the Chicago Black Drag Council prides themselves as active advocates for an antiracist future.
Jo Mama reached out to Danny Beers, Generations LGBT coordinator for Our Art of Giving, to get connected to Town Hall after Chicago Black Drag Council member and Minnesota native Jesse Fails came to them with the idea.
Each of the handmade cards featured adorable Valentine's Day messages. ‚ÄúYou‚Äôre one in a melon‚Äù and ‚ÄúYou‚Äôve stolen a pizza my heart‚Äù were some of the cute and punny cards.
‚ÄúThank you so much to all who participated,‚Äù Beers wrote in a statement. ‚ÄúWe exceeded our goal.‚Äù
Pandemic creates loneliness epidemic for LGBTQ+ seniors
While many are able to lean on others for social support through the pandemic, many LGBTQ seniors can not afford the same luxury.
Members of this community are twice as likely to be single and live alone, advocates say.
According to SAGE, America's oldest and largest nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of older LGBTQ adults, 53 percent of older LGBT people feel isolated.
As the community faces COVID-19, they also face an new epidemic: loneliness. This leaves many coming up with ways to get their LGBTQ+ seniors social again.
Although the project is no longer receiving valentines, those interested can further support the organizations online.