Research Reveals Disproportionate Financial Strain of COVID-19 on LGBTQ Community

A new report released by HRC and PSB Research has found that LGBTQ people have been hit harder financially by COVID-19 than the general population.

The report found that LGBTQ people in the US are more likely than the general population to have experienced a cut in hours; 30 percent of LGBTQ respondents had hours cut, compared to 22 percent of the general population. Twice as many LGBTQ people also reported feeling their personal finances are currently “much worse off” than they were a year ago (20 percent vs. 11 percent of the general public).

LGBTQ people are also more likely to have made some changes to financially conserve: 59 percent report spending less (compared to 53 percent of the general population), 42 percent have adjusted their household budgets (compared to 30 percent), and 11 percent have asked for rent delays (compared to eight percent).

Perhaps due to this significant financial strain, LGBTQ are also more likely to take active steps to learn about and prepare for the pandemic: 74 percent are paying more attention to the news (compared to 68 percent of the general public), 60 percent have conducted their own research on the virus (compared to 45 percent), 53 percent have purchased masks (compared to 43 percent), and 27 percent have spoken with a medical professional about COVID-19 (compared to 14 percent).

In a media statement, HRC President Alphonso David said these findings were “unfortunately not surprising.” The findings reflect those of a research brief HRC released last month detailing the expected disproportionate effects COVID-19 has on the LGBTQ community.

“This new data bears out our initial predictions that LGBTQ people were likely to face greater economic hardship and is more proof that the most marginalized communities are the most at risk,” David said. “We have seen the health impact of the virus on communities of color, and we now have the data to show how the LGBTQ community is struggling. For those of us at the intersections of these identities, it is even more profound. We must take this moment to fight for the resources to ensure that communities most impacted can weather this storm.”