Keep Calm and Be Proud

As the world wrestles with the coronavirus, I cannot help but remember when HIV created hysteria. Many people did not want to be around gay men, much less shake our hands, be our dentist or share water fountains. When I see people step away from others for fear of contracting the coronavirus, I totally understand, but it does bring back painful memories.

Like it was in the beginning of the HIV epidemic, today we are surrounded by the unknown. Ignorance can cause fear and that can bring panic. Let’s not panic. The LGBTQ community once again has the opportunity to lead. We have, in some ways, been down this path before.

Diversity Richmond is taking serious steps in protecting ourselves and the people we serve. Our shopping carts at Diversity Thrift are sanitized after each use. All employees are wearing latex gloves and countertops and other surfaces are disinfected often. We are washing our hands no less than once an hour. Our meeting room tables and chairs are being wiped down after use.

Our customers and our friends who use our rooms have expressed their appreciation.

We do not know what the future holds, but we do know that the economy is already suffering. And when the economy suffers, so do nonprofits. If you are so moved, I suggest you make a donation (it can be a small one) to a nonprofit. Our city is peppered with outstanding nonprofits that save lives every day. Let’s remember them.

Best to all and take good care.

Bill Harrison