Stephen James Markley (aka Lady Champagne Bubbles) a nurse case manager, called out fellow gays on Facebook for not social distancing at a crowded street gathering in NYC.
“It’s called a mask gays… They ain’t asking you to wear a condom. Slap in the face to all healthcare workers and defiance of law. Reason why you won’t progress to Phase 2 right here.”
The exact details of the photo were not described but it’s clear it’s in Hell’s Kitchen by the street signs and social media has been sharing it widely. The response has mostly been of shock.
One commenter said,
“Oh my GOD. Did Rona Rave get upgraded to a block party?! I hate this”
On Facebook Daniel Reichard wrote,
“I don’t usually like to cast stones because I make mistakes in life too but this bullshit needed to be called out.
There’s nothing to celebrate right now. Our nation is currently experiencing one of the most difficult and violent fights for social justice in modern history. Where is the respect for our brothers and sisters laying their lives on the lines in demonstrations across the city (and, of course, to the health care workers who are doing the same in hospitals)? Going to a street party after supposedly marching for #blacklivesmatter is an embarrassing display of privilege. I saw the same straight version on Bleecker Street while walking home from the Washington Square Park demonstration. We act as if we are living in different worlds, but no, it’s the same one. These ongoing sacrifices are hard, and we may slip occasionally. Time to pick ourselves back up and do better tomorrow. #blacklivesmatter #blacktranslivesmatter #blacklgbtqlivesmatter
PS: EVERY protest I went to over the past few days hosted thousands wearing masks.”
You can follow, Steven, @LadyChampagneb, on Instagram…
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“In light of my recent post that has been shared and picked up by numerous publications, I want to make a clear statement regarding my intentions.
I, of all people, understand that as humans we make mistakes, but it’s what we do afterward that helps us grow and learn how to prevent it from happening again.
My intentions of posting that photo were not to attack anyone or any business specifically but to shed light on what the current state of affairs was. At the time of the photo (June 7th, 7:24 PM), NYC had not entered Phase 1 and I was seeing patrons not socially distancing and looking like they were having a “happy hour” outside the bars/restaurants, spilling into the streets.
As I stated in my original post, healthcare workers like myself have been working tirelessly to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and get it under control so we can all return to some semblance of our “normal” society. When I see people clearly defying executive orders that help do that, it’s a blatant slap in the face to healthcare workers AND everyone else who is working to fight this virus. The purpose of a mask is to help protect yourself and others and wearing one shows that you’re doing what’s recommended by the health and government officials to assist in the fight.
I hold an interesting position in this discussion, as I’m a Registered Nurse, a Drag Queen, AND a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Was I fully aware of the backlash that may come my way in posting this photo? Absolutely, but someone had to say something. I hope that we learn from this and use it as a growing moment of education and love from one person to another instead of attacking, which is why I tried to use humor in my original post to shed light on the situation. It’s unfortunate that this is the state we’re in, but I can tell you now, masks are NOT going away anytime soon, so I’d suggest you invest in some good ones. (Seriously, if you need one, my friends Matthew Neff (shopneffnyc.com) & Wing & Weft, home to Lacrasia Gloves have been making fashionable masks/face coverings)
I hope we can all learn from this and grow. It’s hard to be the whistleblower, but when you see something wrong, you say something, regardless of the ramifications. I’m not opposed to any form of socialization as long as you are complying with the regulations of the authorities. I stand with science and my healthcare professionals in how we, as a community, begin to re-open safely protecting everyone. In my opinion, everyone should use this opportunity to participate in the solution to the problem.
In closing, I think Heidi Haux summed it up pretty well:
‘It’s insulting to see a generation behave like this when our elders had to survive an epidemic to fight for our rights.’
We can do better as a community and as a nation.
Stay Safe, Follow the rules, wear a mask/face covering, and wash your hands.
“If you can’t protect yourself, how the hell you gonna protect somebody else?”
Stephen/ Champagne Bubbles