Crisis and Care

“How did we respond? That is the central question in Crisis and Care. Lots of books will look at COVID-19, but this book looks at how LGBTQ activists responded to one of the most challenging moments of our lives.” —Igor Volsky, author of Guns Down: How to Defeat the NRA and Build a Safer Future with Fewer Guns 

“In Crisis and Care, Adrian Shanker and the contributing authors make the bold case that we are defined not by the bad things that happen in our society, but by how our community responds.” —Robyn Ochs, editor of Bi Womens Quarterly

About the Book:

Crisis and Care reveals what is possible when activists mobilize for the radical changes our society needs. In a time of great uncertainty, fear, and isolation, Queer activists organized for health equity, prison abolition, racial justice, and more. Nobody who lived through the COVID-19 pandemic will soon forget the challenges, sacrifices, and incredible loss felt during such an uncertain time in history. Crisis and Care anthologizes not what happened during COVID-19, or why it happened, but rather how Queer activists responded in real time. It considers the necessity to memorialize resiliency as well as loss, hope as well as pain, to remember the strides forward as well as the steps back. Activist contributors Zephyr Williams, Mark Travis Rivera, Jamie Gliksberg, Denise Spivak, Emmett Patterson, Omar Gonzales-Pagan, Kenyon Farrow, and more provide a radical lens through which future activists can consider effective strategies to make change, even or perhaps especially, during periods of crisis.

“Adrian Shanker has emerged in recent years as an urgent and prescient voice on matters concerning queer health. Crisis and Care: Queer Activist Responses to a Global Pandemic is timely, important, and shares a message we ignore at our own peril. The response to COVID-19 from LGBTQ communities is informed by our own experience with a deadly pandemic made vastly worse by poor presidential leadership. Our lived experience over the past 40 years has valuable lessons for how we should be addressing today’s viral threats.” — Sean Strub, author of Body Counts: A Memoir of Politics, Sex, AIDS, and Survival

ISBN: 9781629639352

PM Press, 2022

128 Pages

One-pager with book distribution information for U.S. and U.K.

Contributing Writers:

  • Sigfried Aragona
  • Rea Carey
  • Kenyon Farrow
  • Peter Frycki
  • Jamie Gliksberg
  • Omar Gonzales-Pagan
  • James McMaster
  • Emmett Patterson
  • Mark Travis Rivera
  • Adrian Shanker
  • Denise Spivak
  • Michelle Veras
  • Zephyr Williams

Excerpts and Interviews:

Read excerpts of Crisis and Care in, San Francisco Bay Times, and Welcome to Hellworld.

Check out interviews about the book at Queer Forty, the WROTE podcast, or on KMWR: West Marin Community Radio.

Teach the Book:

For Academic Coursework: Crisis and Care is a timely look at how LGBTQ people responded to the COVID-19 pandemic with care for their community. Crisis and Care addresses community responses through public health, public policy, and community organizing and is especially relevant for coursework in political science, public health, public policy, and gender studies. If you are considering Crisis and Care for your course, request a desk copy by emailing

For Reading & Discussion Groups: Crisis and Care is an excellent choice for reading and discussion groups. Bulk purchase discounts may be requested by emailing, depending on the quantity requested.

Purchase the Book:

Crisis and Care: Queer Activist Responses to a Global Pandemic is available for purchase through any in-person or online bookseller. Please support your local independent bookstore by purchasing the book through them, or if purchasing online, through, or through the publisher directly at PM Press.

For wholesale or bulk copies of the book at a discount, email your request to

Image description 1: three images of the book cover of Crisis and Care: Queer Activist Responses to a Global Pandemic, a rainbow background with red and orange molecular spheres resembling the COVID-19 virus. Book is displayed on a tablet, a phone, and in print. 

Image description 2: book cover of Crisis and Care: Queer Activist Responses to a Global Pandemic