Open Letter: SF queen Juanita MORE! responds to the pandemic

Dear Lover,

“How are you feeling?” is the most asked question I’ve received today.

It’s complicated to answer that. I fit the demographic perfectly that COVID-19 is aggressively chasing — but I’m doing good though. I don’t have any of the symptoms and have more or less been staying in my apartment with my Frenchie, Jackson. (He’s over me.)

I’m taking the virus seriously and all the necessary steps to ensure that I don’t get it or pass it on. 

While talking with some children (young gay men) I mother (mentor) here in San Francisco over the last week, I’ve found a range of responses to the pandemic. Most are healthy, gym attending folk and don’t fit the most vulnerable demographics; they appear to be dismissive of the disease’s severity. But! They could easily be vehicles for spreading novel coronavirus. 

A lot of them are taking responsible steps to help keep their communities healthy, though… Others are taking advantage of cheap airfare in hopes of fleeing the virus.

This week, long check-out lines at stores have been filled with those fortunate enough to work from home. (The frozen food section is wiped out — what does that say about that demographic?) Today, I managed to find all the ingredients I needed to make my own hand sanitizer. Joy.

I’m worried about my brothers and sisters in the entertainment industry, those who make their money in tips at bars and restaurants, and people who do massage, and sex work. We see big events (SXSW, Facebook’s F8, the entire NBA season) getting canceled across the country, but the little weekday night drag shows aren’t getting any attention.

The community has been reaching out to me to find helpful solutions. It can be overwhelming… as I, as well, fit into the categories they’re trying to help. Today, I woke up at 2 a.m., panicking that I had the virus. That feeling was also cloaked with anxiety about how I can help my community. Thankfully, the first part was just a bad dream. Though, the second part is quickly becoming a reality.

There are some platforms out there that have started to pop up in support of workers whose hours are cut. San Francisco officials want to help renters, small businesses and workers harmed by the coronavirus outbreak that’s damaging our local economy.

I’m looking at alternative ways to help my friends and family. 

A lot of drag queens I know sell merchandise on their websites (like me), artists are selling artwork, restaurants have food to go or for delivery, and Onlyfans is just a click away from your dream date. We could all put our Venmo accounts up in hopes that someone will throw money our way, so no matter what —  find a way to support your community.

I will keep you updated on how I intend to directly help my friends and family in San Francisco. But for now, this awesome Freelance Artist Resource Guide was passed on to me: A big thanks to its creators and supporters — Nicole Brewer, Ann Marie Lonsdale, Quanice Floyd, Tiffany Wilhelm, Brian Herrera, Hannah Fenlon, Clementine Bordeaux, Ann Marie Lonsdale, and Abigail Vega. 

We will get through this together.

Loads of Love, Juanita

Juanita