The LGBT Community Reaches Out to Haiti


Photo: Juan Monino

Actors, musicians, cruise lines, and nonprofit professionals are all showing support of earthquake relief efforts in Haiti by reaching into their economically strapped pockets with the realization that foregoing a posh dinner out can mean helping the survivors of the natural disaster in the Caribbean get the care they so urgently need. The loss of life tops 150,000 (and rising) just two weeks after a series of seismic tremors crumbled Port-au-Prince, and aid workers in the Haitian capital city are working furiously to both dig out and rebuild what has been lost with contributions from all over the world, including the American LGBT community.

On the musical front, Tegan and Sara are utilizing their fan base to generate funds by donating the profits gained from poster sales during their Canadian tour. The lesbi-twins aren’t the only ones generously putting their talents to use. Queer-friendly Bette Midler raised more than $19,000 in a single performance at Caesar’s Palace, an amount she then doubled out of her own pocket and sent to Doctors Without Borders. Bisexual porn star and singer, Sharon Kane, came out of a ten year retirement to play The Earthquake Relief Benefit Show on January 25th at Bar Lubitsch in West Hollywood. On the opposite coast, singer-songwriter Robin Renee is making a similar gesture of benevolence at Ale ‘N ‘Wich Pub’s, And on That Note: A Day of Music to Benefit Haitian Relief, in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Like Tegan and Sara, sales of Renee’s T-shirts will be added to the kitty, and the pub itself is sweetening the pot by throwing in money brought in from draft beer sales.

Those who tired of gambling and caught lesbian comedian Bear’s act at Bonkerz Comedy Club in Las Vegas last Friday donated half of their ticket price to the American Red Cross. And if you haven’t been watching the independently produced lesbian web series We Have to Stop Now, well, now is the time to start because leading actresses (and current Curve cover girls) Jill Bennett and Cathy DeBuono have committed to sending a portion of the proceeds gained from new subscriptions through January 31st to Haiti.

Nonprofit organizations have also mobilized to encourage LGBT people’s generosity by setting up funds to which they can send supplies, in addition to dollars. The Dade Community Foundation in Miami, Florida quickly established the LGBT Community Response to the Crisis in Haiti Fund. With a founding donation of $50,000, the Haiti Earthquake Relief Campaign was set up by the only LGBT-based international humanitarian aid charity, the Rainbow World Fund. The fund has nearly doubled since.

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