By: Brenda Teed, LSW, COVID-19 Social Support Coordinator & Preventionist
Happy Pride Month!
Every year during the month of June, the LGBTQ+ community celebrates Pride Month. June was chosen because it is when the Stonewall riots took place in 1969. As well as being a month-long celebration, Pride month is also an opportunity to peacefully protest and raise political awareness of current issues facing the community. There are an estimated thirteen million people ages 13 and older in the US identifying as LGBTQ+ (Source: UCLA School of Law Williams Institute).
Most of the data that exists on COVID-19 has not included sexual orientation and gender identity, but the data we do have on the pandemic’s impact on the LGBTQ+ community confirms what we anecdotally knew to be true. Across all social indicators wherein LGBTQ+ people were already impacted by inequalities; health, healthcare, housing, employment, child and family care, and more, the data indicates COVID-19 has only compounded those already existing inequalities.
While data does not tell the full story, it shines the light on impacts of the pandemic on the LGBTQ+ community.
Two Years Later-What We Know About COVID-19’s Impact On The LGBTQ+ Community
Results from an August/September 2021 National Poll
While this poll did not ask about substance use, we know from other studies that substance use caused by the COVID-19 pandemic were exacerbated and more common in the LGBTQ+ community (Source: Healio Psychiatry, January 2022).
Given the existing and widening inequities faced, decisive and tailored public health measures and advocacy for the rights of LBGTQ+ people are needed to safeguard their well-being.