Nonwhite LGBTQ people are at an increased risk of contracting the coronavirus.
A new study released by the Williams Institute states that Queer people of color are twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19 when compared to straight white people. The Williams Institute, which is a subsection of the UCLA School of Law, conducted a national survey involving more than 12,000 U.S. citizens.
The survey was held between August and December of last year, and found disproportionate effects based on the intersection of race and sexual orientation. Specifically, LGBTQ people of color were twice as likely as white respondents, LGBTQ or otherwise, to have tested positive for COVID-19 at 14.5 percent to 7 percent.
“LGBT people of color are more likely to have tested positive for COVID-19, to personally know someone who died of COVID-19 [by over 50 percent], and to have experienced several types of economic instability as a result of the pandemic,” the study states. “They are also more likely to follow public health measures, such as getting tested for COVID-19, social distancing, and wearing masks than non-LGBT White people.”
The survey also went into the economic impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on LGBTQ Americans and specifically LGBTQ Americans of color. Queer people of color were three times more likely than non-LGBTQ White Americans to report being recently laid off. The specific numbers were 15 percent to 5.4 percent. LGBTQ White people reported 10.4 percent on the same issue and non-LGBTQ people of color reported 11.5 percent. Plus, the survey’s LGBTQ respondents were typically younger than non-LGBTQ respondents. Plus, the “younger people were in jobs that were harder hit and have less economic stability,” according to Brad Sears, the interim executive director of the Williams Institute.
This study comes just a week after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that LGBTQ adults are at a higher risk of adverse COVID-19 effects.
After seeing those findings, Aaron Tax, the Director of Advocacy for LGBTQ elders advocacy group SAGE, noted that a significant factor is the lack of accessibility to culturally competent care services and support programs.
“I think the biggest factor that contributes to these comorbidities is the lack of access to culturally competent care services and supports,” said Tax.
“And this, unfortunately, is something that we’ve known about for some time, but I think what the epidemic has done is really shone a light on many of the issues that have plagued the LGBT older community,” he added. “As I said, for many, many years, one of the issues that we think and talk about a lot is the lack of data with respect to the challenges that LGBT older folks face.”
“We don’t know how many LGBT folks have been infected nationwide, how many have been tested, how many been hospitalized, how many have died, [and] how many have gotten better,” Tax continued. “And unfortunately, without the data, it’s hard to create interventions.”
Source: NBC News,