Crisis and Care: Queer Activist Responses to a Global Pandemic

By Rea Carey
Special to

The new anthology, Crisis and Care: Queer Activist Responses to a Global Pandemic, is timely in many ways. It’s the second collection of essays edited by Adrian Shanker. About Crisis and Care, Robyn Ochs, editor of Bi Women’s Quarterly, wrote, “In Crisis and Care, Adrian Shanker and the contributing authors make the bold case that we are defined not by the bad things that happen in our society, but by how our community responds.” Central to the book is writing by LGBTQ+ women including Denise Spivak (CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers), Jamie Gliksberg (formerly of Lambda Legal), and Michelle Veras (National LGBT Cancer Network) as well as a powerful foreword by Rea Carey, the former executive director of the National LGBTQ+ Task Force.


Here is a short excerpt from Carey’s introduction to the book:

 Over the course of my thirty years in the LGBTQ+ movement, including seventeen years at the National LGBTQ Task Force, I have seen our LGBTQ+ movement adapt to trying times before. We have shown up for each other. But the sudden and significant changes to our lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic were different—it wasn’t anything like what we had experienced before. It immediately surfaced and magnified existing health access disparities, as well as discrimination, especially for Black and Brown members of our community and for trans and gender nonconforming people.

Rhea Carey

Rea Carey (Franklin forum participant head shots).

Yet the LGBTQ+ community quickly created virtual connections, assessed the immediate impact, launched mutual aid efforts, modeled resiliency, and demanded health equity. The LGBTQ+ community responded to a global pandemic with determination that we would all get through it together, and that the most vulnerable members of our community would have our collective support—and, importantly, that we had much to teach the rest of the country about responding to a health crisis being mishandled by the government, as was the case during the early years of HIV/ AIDS.

We should remember this moment in time. We should always respond with the care and resiliency that our LGBTQ+ movement demonstrated throughout this crisis. No doubt we will need that strength again.

Book launch Event
8/16 at 6pm PT at Sausalito Books by the Bay. In person event. 
Adrian Shanker in conversation w Dr Jei Africa, a major lgbtq health leader in the bay and director of behavioral health for Marin County. 


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, probably forever. This book looks at the power of community. When LGBTQ+ people speak up, fight back, and make demands for an equitable and fair world, oftentimes we win. Crisis and Care is available from local bookstores, or from the publisher at 

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