What Makes the LGBTQI+ Community Disproportionately Vulnerable During the Pandemic?

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and magnified prejudices and biases against many communities, the queer community being one of them. Here is how the LGBTQI+ community is uniquely affected and feels unsafe due to the pandemic:

  • United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned how the pandemic has seen increased cases of systemic homophobia, biphobia and transphobia. He said: “There are also reports of COVID-19 directives being misused by police to target LGBTI individuals and organizations.”
  • According to a recent study from UCLA based in America, LGBTQI+ people are more likely to live in poverty. Similar studies and ground reports across countries support this statement internationally. This makes them uniquely susceptible to violence, discrimination and also the health effects of the virus.
  • Queer people are also less likely to get comfortable access to healthcare, so while they are not specifically prone to the virus, they are less likely to receive treatment and tests, which puts them at a greater health risk.
  • Many LGBT+ persons who are not “out” to their families or other groups have been forced to live and stay in with them during the pandemic. Social and physical contact with people of their own community is very important to queer people, and the lack of access to these connections has had a significant detrimental impact on mental health.
  • “LGBTQ youth already face increased risk of anxiety and suicide and disproportionate rates of unemployment and unstable housing,”says Amit Paley, CEO & Executive Director of The Trevor Project.

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