Hannah Simpson is a "New York-based" writer and comedian. But she was in Austin, TX for Austin Pride when Hurricane Harvey blew in. Both Austin Pride and Hannah's return flight were therefore canceled. So Hannah volunteered at a Red Cross-operated shelter.
A few days turned into over three weeks. The governor of Texas stopped by, I got a photo op and a chance to remind him that I’m a transgender woman serving his community. I told him I concern myself with humans being, not humans peeing. And I mostly just spent a lot of time clowning and playing with kids in the shelters.
Hannah was doing intake for evacuees in both English and Spanish.
I later joined the command center and did data management and welcoming for new walk-in volunteers, worked on the disability integration team, and served on a mobile feeding canteen truck. I met a few transgender evacuees in the shelter, and did my best to remind them they were seen, just like everyone else. Our identities don’t just wash away with the rains or high water.
I am staying involved with the Red Cross now that I’m back in New York, and I think other trans people should step up, too.
Hannah has written more about her experiences at Hey Alma