New Study Reveals LGBTQ COVID Impact and Response

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Friday March 12, 2021

New Study Reveals LGBTQ COVID Impact and Response
  (Source:Getty Images)

A new report published by KFF, and funded in part by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, looks at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on LGBTQ people's health and economic status. Additionally, the report also discusses how LGBTQ people view the pandemic based on their concerns, how the media portrays COVID-19, and the level of responsibility they feel toward getting vaccinated and maintaining pandemic guidelines.

The study indicates that 74 percent of LGBTQ adults reported that pandemic-related worry and stress has adversely impacted their mental health, and 49 percent have described it as having a significant impact — this contrasts with non-LGBTQ people at 49 percent and 23 percent, respectively. As EDGE reported in October, a Trevor Project poll revealed that LGBTQ youth reported struggling with anxiety and depression and felt they had less access to mental healthcare because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The impact of the pandemic on LGBTQ elders is also a concern. As EDGE reported in January, organizations have sprung to action to prevent LGBTQ seniors from suffering loneliness and isolation, to connect in a socially distanced world. In some instances, this has involved acquainting LGBTQ seniors with unfamiliar technologies — such as tablets and Zoom — to help elders maintain connections with people that may not be in physical proximity.

Where economic and employment impact is concerned, 56 percent of LGBTQ adults reported that either they or someone in their household had lost jobs in the pandemic, compared with 44 percent of non-LGBTQ adults. Previous research found that LGBTQ people are more likely than their non-LGBTQ counterparts to work in industries, such as K-12 and college education, restaurants, retail, and hospitals, hit hardest by the pandemic.

A larger group of LGBTQ people — 85 percent versus 69 percent of non-LGBT people — said they would follow social distancing guidelines for more than six months or until vaccinations become more widely available. And, 97 percent of LGBTQ people reported almost always wearing a mask when leaving their homes, with 90 percent believing that masks help stop the virus's spread.

Seventy-five percent of LGBTQ respondents believe getting vaccinated is everyone's responsibility to protect their and others' health, while only 48 percent of non-LGBTQ people think the same.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

COVID-19 And You

This story is part of our special report titled COVID-19 And You. Want to read more? Here's the full list.