COVID-19: A GCUC Blessing and a Curse

By Stormy McBride On March 10, 2020 In Community

Angel - Devil Illustration

Real talk: GCUC Seattle being postponed due to COVID-19 was a blessing and a curse to our team.

Sixty days before any GCUC event is what we like to call the witching hour. It’s hectic, deadlines are speeding towards you, things are changing at the last minute and, truth be told, we typically get a decent amount of demanding emails from people who have never been to a GCUC and are not thrilled with one thing or another because GCUC is unlike any other event.

It is so easy to get burnt out and caught up on the road blocks. It’s so easy to slip into a realm of stress and focus on all of the “no’s” and setbacks rather than this amazing event before us. Add COVID-19 to that and, as imagined, it didn’t get better.

Two weeks ago we really started monitoring the situation. Concerned emails flooded our inboxes. At that time we were still holding strong that it would die down and blow over by the time April rolled around.

We talked about it internally more and more frequently. When SXSW was called off last Friday, we knew we needed to make that call, as well. We crafted “Plan B” and began making calls to our sponsors and supporters (without whose financial support GCUC couldn’t do what we do on such a large scale), and gauging their thoughts “if we were to potentially delay.” We were met with 30-plus positive responses.

“That sucks, but we support you”

“You make the call, we will stand behind you”

“We will be there regardless of when it happens. Do what you need to do”

We took the weekend to think it over, although we knew that the right decision in our hearts. On Monday morning we began to put Plan B: Delay GCUC Seattle into place. We agonized over the messaging, wondering what our attendees and community would say and what the reactions would be. What would the fallout and repercussions look like? We prepared ourselves for a shitty afternoon.

We scheduled all communications to go out globally, shut our laptops and got in our cars to head home so we could avoid traffic and be around to put out fires when the announcement hit everyone’s inboxes.

Go time came around and we were met with silence. We refreshed our inboxes and social feed over and over, multiple times, waiting… but there were no fires.

We were once again met with support and well wishes.

“Good call ladies, you did the right thing”

“Sending big love”

“I know this couldn’t have been easy or fun for you, but thank you for putting the wellness of the community first”

We were shocked. We had prepared for the worst because, if you run events, you know that any little change has the potential to start a riot.

Our community showed up for us in the best way. They remind us that even though the last 60 days brings us chaos, we do this over and over again because we love not only the community that we built but the friendships it provides us.

I sent Liz a screenshot of a text I received from one of our community members. Her response was, “We get to work with the best people.” She is 100% correct.

Postponing an event this large is not easy. There are so many moving parts and costs associated with it but the support of our circle has blown us away and reminded us, once again, that community is everything.

Thank you to everyone that sent us a message or note. We are still wading through them trying to respond. We will be pushing out updates and sending more information as we get it so please stay tuned. The best is yet to come.

Love and gratitude,
Liz and Stormy