Thanks primarily to the tireless efforts of two gay community organizers, Jeff Cotter of Rainbow World Fund and Gary Virginia of Gays Without Borders/SF, a contribution of $7,500 is on its way to help gay Iraqi refugees.
For the past five weeks, Cotter and Virginia have raised funds from LGBT people and our allies in the Bay Area. They worked with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and other volunteers, hitting the streets and bars with buckets, asking patrons for donations. On the Rainbow World Fund site, folks from around the country gave money.
In fact, people can still make tax-deductible donations to this worthy cause by going to RWF's site, clicking on the donate option and specifying "Iraq" when giving a contribution.
The $7,500 was given to an American non-profit human rights group with extensive ties in the Middle East, which is passing the funds to a gay group assisting Iraqi gay refugees.
But Cotter and Virginia, and yours truly, are not done raising more funds for the gay refugees.
We're holding a fundraiser on Friday, June 19, from 9 pm till closing, at Cafe Flore. Virginia has lined up gifts to be raffled off, drink specials and a fabulous DJ to spin some music. More details to follow, but please make plans to stop by that night and throw some bucks into the donation jars.
Hey, Gary and Jeff, thanks for all your time and effort on the gay Iraqi project. You two are real inspirations to me.
(Photo credit: Bill Wilson Photography.)