In the weeks following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the United States, millions of people have lost their jobs, had their hours cut, and felt the heavy impact a pandemic can have on their economic freedom — and LGBTQ+ Americans are among those who are feeling the economic effects strongest, according to new research from PSB Research and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the HRC, a national LGBTQ+ civil rights organization.
The report shows that LGBTQ+ people are more likely to have experienced a cut in work hours, with 30 percent of LGBTQ+ respondents experiencing a cut in comparison to 22 percent of the general population. They are nearly twice as likely as the general population to feel their personal finances are in worse shape due to the pandemic and are more likely to be taking steps to actively prepare for the virus. They are also more likely to trust public health officials and less likely to trust President Donald Trump’s leadership — just 14 percent of LGBTQ+ respondents said they trusted Trump as a source of information, compared to 22 percent of the general population.
“It is unfortunately not surprising to see that the LGBTQ community is facing adverse economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a press release. “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.
This comes at a time in which some 22 million people have filed for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic began spreading in the U.S., according to ABC News, the brunt of which hit people of color the hardest. NPR reported that employment for white Americans fell by 1.1 percent in March, while the Black Americans saw a 1.6 percent fall, Asian Americans saw a 1.7 percent fall, and Latinx Americans experienced a 2.1 percent fall.
“We have seen the health impact of this virus on communities of color, and we now have the data to show how the LGBTQ community is struggling,” David said. “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.”