PRIDE Annual Report 2020 - Page 12

“ The health and safety of the LGBTQIA + community , our sponsors , allies , friends and families in the Coastal Bend must come first ”, Bill Hoelscher , MPST Treasurer said . PRIDE sponsorships received for 2020 will be transferred to 2021 events . “ Putting on PRIDE events that showcase the value , strength , and impact of the LGBTQIA + community requires many hours of dedicated work from volunteers and financial support from our friends and allies ,” Hoelscher said . “ Supporting PRIDE events is an investment in each other . Once it is safe to have large community gatherings we will be prepared to put on PRIDE in 2021 .” Board member Jonathan Swindle said national research shows LGBTQIA + individuals are disproportionately impacted economically by the pandemic , and shows transgender people - especially transgender people of color - are more likely to have negative consequences . “ The LGBTQIA + community we support and promote are struggling due to COVID-19 . PRIDE events and activities which encourages the full participation of these individuals , their families , friends , and allies can best be accomplished by waiting until 2021 . We , as a community , need to first protect each other ’ s health and support those LGBTQIA + individuals who face challenges from the pandemic .” Board member Reverend Dana Worsham said the benefits of waiting until 2021 to celebrate PRIDE far outweighed the potential risk of spreading the virus at in-person gatherings . “ As much as the LGBTQIA +