Amazing way Brisbane drag star is helping Covid-hit performers


bebe gunn drag queen brisbane covid-19 lockdown south east queensland
Image: Instagram

Drag angel Bebe Gunn has spent Queensland’s lockdown putting Covid-hit artists in touch with generous strangers offering help paying bills.

On Saturday, eleven local government areas in south-east Queensland went into the state’s strictest ever lockdown. Then yesterday, the Queensland government extended it until Sunday (August 8) to fight a growing COVID-19 outbreak.

Brisbane drag queen Bebe Gunn told ABC Radio Brisbane the lockdown instantly wiped out around $2,200 of gigs she had lined up last weekend.

Bebe shared that with her Instagram followers. After she did, people “were reaching out saying, ‘If you’ve lost all this money over the weekend, how can I help you?'”

“Being quite fortunate, I didn’t need the assistance,” she said.

“But I knew there was somebody out there who did.

“So, I began a campaign called Pay Your Bills where drag performers, burlesque performers, arts performers, hospitality workers, dancers, choreographers, anyone, could get in contact with me.

“I would put them in contact with people anonymously to BPay bills for them so that they could make sure they were looked after in this really uncertain time.”

Bebe Gunn says each COVID-19 lockdown takes financial toll

Unsure at first, Bebe said she was shocked when strangers went on to give “at least” $10,000 to around 50 people.

“When I started, the first person that contacted me needed car rego paid. I thought to myself, this is not going to happen,” she told ABC Radio.

“Within two minutes, just one person paid the entire thing.

“Every time that I’ve thought to myself, ‘This bill is too big’ it gets paid.”

Writing on social media, Bebe appealed for people those who “turn to the arts for a smile or a pick-me-up” and are now “in a position to help bring back their smiles” to direct message her.

Bebe Gunn said venue closures due to snap lockdowns left numerous artists and other workers in uncertain financial situations.

“It’s not just this lockdown, let’s be honest. It’s the impact of previous lockdowns that has built up,” she said.

“There’s no immediate assistance for artists in this situation that we’re in.

“So I became the assistance. It feels like I’m doing the job of a government department.

“If there is an artist out there who needs help, I’ll keep going.”

In south-east Queensland, the regions of Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Noosa Shire, Redland City, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Sunshine Coast are locked down until 4pm on Sunday.

People whose income has been affected by the lockdown may be eligible for a disaster payment from the federal government.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

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1 Comment

  1. Don Balfour
    5 August 2021
    Reply

    wow, what a wonderful person…
    We Love you Bebe…
    Fradge

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