Christy Holstege, mayor of Palm Springs in California, has slammed the “white privileged people” flocking to resorts for holidays as coronavirus cases surge.
Many queer people have been watching in horror in recent weeks as influencers – many of them white gay men – flocked to resorts such as Puerta Vallarta in Mexico to attend “circuit parties” as COVID-19 spirals out of control in many parts of the world.
One of those high-profile “circuit parties” ended in disaster when the boat the party was taking place on capsized – but many queer people struggled to feel sorry for those on board.
Holstege, who made history when she became the first out bisexual mayor in the United States in December 2020, has hit out at those travelling abroad and jeopardising the health and wellbeing of others.
She shared a screenshot of a post from GaysOverCovid, an anonymous Instagram account dedicated to calling out the gay men travelling abroad for circuit parties during the pandemic, and wrote: “Throwing and attending [a party] in Mexico as an American is super problematic.”
Christy Holstege says it’s ‘unacceptable’ to host ‘massive parties’ right now.
Holstege doubled down on her criticism on her Instagram Stories, sharing a screenshot of a comment she left on another post in which she laid out her views on those travelling abroad.
In the post, Holstege said it was “unacceptable” for people to be holding “massive parties during the height of the global pandemic”.
“It violates the state’s stay at home orders which prohibits non-essential travel, it’s dangerous that people attending will be coming back to our communities, especially considering our LGBTQ community is particularly at risk and traumatised from the HIV pandemic, and it’s especially problematic as [it’s] mostly white privileged people travelling to a lower income country and communities of colour that can’t afford to keep out infected tourists,” she wrote.
“I am hearing from tons of residents of Palm Springs who are extremely concerned about this.”
Holstege went on to praise the GaysOverCovid Instagram account, saying she was “grateful” to them for calling out members of the community who were deliberately flouting coronavirus restrictions.
Many in the LGBT+ community have expressed their shock and dismay at seeing huge numbers of (mostly white) gay men flocking to resorts abroad for parties in recent weeks.
The GaysOverCovid Instagram account has attracted international media attention for calling out those partying through the pandemic, and it has racked up more than 100,000 followers in the process.
Much of the world is currently facing into a huge surge in coronavirus case numbers, with California experiencing a significant rise in the number of people infected with COVID-19.
An estimated 1.85 million people have died worldwide with COVID-19 since the virus first appeared in Wuhan, China, in 2019.