LGBTQ bars remain a haven and a source of support for individuals and our organizations

DONNESH AMROLLAH | Special Contributor

A security is going up on Cedar Springs, so are the holiday decorations and flyers for events meant to spark joy and build fellowship within the LGBTQ community. Businesses are taking steps to ensure our physical safety and planning events to bring us together, but it will be up to us to preserve the spirit of love and community that gives them life.

This holiday season feels darker than usual. Conservative politicians and news sources have made a concerted effort to make LGBTQ bars and clubs feel unsafe. Our spaces are being intentionally painted as targets to draw the ire of constituents who have been told we are a danger to society. We have to work together to make sure they fail both in painting that narrative and driving us away from the spaces we have painstakingly created for ourselves.

One of the ways we can do that is by highlighting the positive things our LGBTQ bars and clubs do to support and give back to the community. For every bit of negative press, a local business or community member is doing something equally positive that could be getting the same attention.

This year marks The Round-Up Saloon’s 23rd annual Christmas Stocking Auction to raise funds benefitting Legacy Cares and the Legacy Founders Cottage. Legacy Cares provides holistic services to individuals living with HIV. The Legacy Cottage is their residential care facility that offers 24-hour care to people living with advanced AIDS.

The holidays can be an especially challenging time for LGBTQ people feeling the isolation from friends and family members. Legacy Cares works to help mitigate some of those feelings for their clients.

“Oftentimes, when clients come to us for hospice or respite care, they come with only the clothes on their back,’ explains Brooke Henderson, the executive director of Legacy Cares. “Starting over can be hard, but, at Legacy Founders Cottage, we are able to provide them hope, support and comfort.”

Since starting in 1999, The Round-Up’s Annual Christmas Stocking Exchange has become a staple event of the Dallas LGBTQ holiday season. The auction brings together community members and supporting businesses to focus on charity and generosity.

In 2021, the auction raised just over $30,000, and The Round-Up hopes to surpass that number this year. All of the proceeds from the event go directly to Legacy Cares to help them provide the best care possible for their clients.

We can help make that a reality in two ways. First, The Round-Up will accept gift basket donations through Friday, Dec. 9, for the auction. Past baskets have included items such as event tickets, vacation stays, fine wines and electronics. (When donating, please include an approximate retail value of the contents. Legacy Cares will provide tax receipts for contributions and purchases.)

Secondly, an auction without bidders is not an auction. So, stop by The Round-Up Saloon at 3912 Cedar Springs Road on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. to participate in the bidding and take home some early Christmas gifts and help the cause at the same time.

The auction provides an opportunity for us to come together to raise money and help Legacy Cares continue its mission. Additionally, it signals that we aren’t backing down and will continue to band together as a community to support one another.

LGBTQ bars and clubs have always held a unique position within the community, serving as havens where we can escape society’s judgment and relax with our friends and chosen family. But, more than that, they act as rallying sites where we organize marches, Pride events and fundraisers to make our voices heard.

Of course, our community has serious concerns and battles to keep fighting. But, no matter how dark things get outside, within the walls of our bars there is also love, acceptance, courage, joy and support. Let’s keep those at the forefront.

For more information about The Round-Up’s Annual Christmas Stocking Auction or to donate, please contact management at 214-522-9611.
Maintaining community this holiday season