Barbra Streisand emphatically comes out swinging for vulnerable LGBT+ folk during star-studded coronavirus benefit

Barbra Streisand came out swinging for some of the LGBT+ community's most vulnerable for an online GLAAD gala.(Kevin Kane/Getty Images for BSB)

Barbra Streisand was among a constellation of stars burning bright in a time of crisis as the legendary singer and actor took part in a coronavirus fundraiser Sunday to support LGBT+ shelters and community centres.

Hosted by American comedian Billy Eichner and Canadian YouTube star Lilly Singh, GLAAD’s Together in Pride: You Are Not Alone saw the likes of Kesha, Billy Porter and Pete Buttigieg in attendance via video uplink.

With the stars all tucked-in at home, the live stream was the latest in deglamorized pop galas popping up across laptops and phone screens, coming shortly after Lady Gaga staged her own in collaboration with anti-poverty charity Global Citizens.

The event, according to organisers, raised an initial donation of more than $225,000 for CenterLink and local LGBT+ centres impacted by COVID-19.

Barbra Streisand: ‘If these community centres had to close their doors that means that LGBTQ kids may not have a meal’.

Streisand, 78, kicked-off the evening with a pre-recorded message, encouraging fans and viewers to support and give back what they can to others.

“Hi everyone, it’s Barbra Streisand and I am so thrilled that GLAAD’s Together in Pride: You Are Not Alone event is happening tonight to raise much-needed funds to support local LGBTQ community centres all over the country who are being seriously affected by COVID-19,” she said.

“If these community centres had to close their doors that means that LGBTQ kids may not have a meal, it means they may not have a place to go and it also means they won’t have the support that so many of these facilities need to help them find a job and be successful.

“I know that times are tough but I really hope you’ll help save these organisations.

“Give as you can, every bit helps.”

As shelters are strained by COVID-19, stars urge donations to keep them afloat. 

Kesha closed out the show with an uplifting rendition of “Rainbow”, a song that she herself said was about “seeing a rainbow through a sh**storm.”

Community centres and shelters are a crucial lifeline for LGBT+ folk across the US, with queer homeless folk being some of the most marginalised and vulnerable groups in the country.

Yet, as the coronavirus pandemic bears down on the country, these centres have emerged as a strained and scarce resource. Many provided financial assistance and medical service on threadbare budgets even before the crisis, but the pandemic has dried-up vital revenue streams.

“If they shut their doors at this time, there are going to be a lot of members in our community who will be in dire straits, who really need help,” said White Collar star Matt Bomer.