The health and safety of my fellow Equality Texans has been weighing on my heart
since the postponement of Equality Texas’ 3rd Annual Gala in October. It is with
sadness that I share now: “Lights, Camera, Action!” will no longer be held in-
person on January 29, 2022.
I didn’t feel well over the holidays. Even with two negative test results, I was still
unwilling to potentially expose family and loved ones. That calculus is also extended
to my Equality Texas extended family. Y’all are just as near and dear to my heart
and I am unwilling to potentially expose any of you, no matter how many
precautions we’re able to take. The City of Austin reached stage 5 COVID-19
community risk last Thursday. Transmission rates are high, and hospitals are once
again being overwhelmed with patients.
When we began planning this event, we anticipated greater resolution to the
COVID-19 crisis, and sought to provide a long-overdue, unforgettable, in-person
celebration. But the current risks of gathering hundreds of people in one room far
outweigh the benefits of us moving forward with our annual event in-person. This is
a gut-wrenching decision – one we knew we may have to make but hoped we
wouldn’t have to.
For two years, we’ve been forced to pivot and reformat what mission-critical
fundraising events of all sizes look like. Our plan for reimagining this event, in part,
will honor the generosity and activism of Equality Texans in 2021 through digital
channels. We’re calling this digital celebration Gala Weeks – two weeks of thanks
to you, our generous sponsors, our 2021 Advocacy Stars, and partner organizations,
all who courageously supported Equality Texas during the toughest legislative year
for LGBTQ+ Texans.
This event funds essential programs that engage, educate, and mobilize Texans in
support of LGBTQ+ equality. In addition to our visibility and presence at the Texas
Capitol, this looks like: the rapid response mobilization of tens of thousands of
Equality Texans when emergent situations that threaten LGBTQ+ equality arise
across Texas, Equality Education webinars, in-depth leadership development for
Equality Fellows (70+ to date), training for corporate leadership and employee
resource groups, and the launch of Turn OUT for Texas, our new statewide voter
engagement and education program. Your support of these programs helps ensure
that Equality Texas can put up another valiant fight at the Capitol in 2023.
There are still opportunities to support this event
and help us reach our goal of raising $250,000.
We are excited to offer reimagined amenities for sponsors, including recognition on our social media during Gala Weeks, on our website, and in the 2021 Annual Report.Additional benefits include invitations to sponsor events (when the environment allows), and membership in the Equality Texas Capitol Club. Visit www.equalitytexas.org/gala-sponsor to sign up.
An exciting, new way to support this year’s annual gala is a silent auction!
In lieu of a memorable event in Austin, bid on a staycation or vacation package to
celebrate your advocacy this year! The auction will open on Saturday, February 5,
2022, and will close the following Saturday. Mark your calendars or follow us on
social media where we will feature auction items and packages.
Thank you for your continued commitment in support of LGBTQ+ equality in Texas,
and I hope you’re able to stay healthy in the coming weeks.
Sarah Lynn Chavez