Carmen Hix, the Texas woman who was let go as a relief volunteer following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, recently spoke to GSN about her experience of discrimination.
Hix was told she was no longer allowed to volunteer at a Houston church’s food bank after church officials discovered she was both Jewish and a lesbian.
Hix’s story, in her words
One misconception Hix wanted to clear up involved the timeline of events that led to her being sacked as a volunteer.
According to Hix, the first time she was let go was by the food pantry director upon finding out she was Jewish. It was then that Hix called the church to complain.
The pastor, who Hix had never met before, invited her to his office to speak about what happened. It was then that this pastor, Ron Hindt, brought up Hix’s sexual orientation.
Hix claims that Pastor Hindt slammed his fist down on his desk and declared that being a lesbian is a sin. Because of this, Hindt said Hix could not represent the church.
‘I was basically fired twice by two different people in the church,’ Hix tells GSN.
Hix’s story went viral after she shared it on Facebook and messaged her friend Carol Wyatt-Woodell, who is active in the Houston LGBTI scene.
A Texas TV station, Click2Houston, and various news websites soon picked up this story.
According to Click2Houston’s interview with Pastor Hindt, the firing was a ‘miscommunication.’
The church, Calvary Houston, also issued an apology in a since-deleted Facebook post.
‘I was fired for being Jewish, then fired for being a lesbian. So I don’t see how it was a miscommunication,’ Hix says of the pastor’s claim.
When Hix first signed up to volunteer at Calvary Houston, there was nothing on their online form that asked about religion of sexual orientation. Hix notes that after her experience, this changed and the church now requires one to disclose their religious affiliation upon signing up to volunteer.
As of the writing of this article, the church’s volunteer form is no longer available on their site.
What Hix is doing now
Hix is now spending her time volunteering at a food pantry in SSG Group, a manufacturing plant that chose to stop production to help with hurricane relief efforts.
‘I’m very happy doing what I’m doing now,’ Hix says, noting that she wants to work as a volunteer for the rest of her life.