Black LGBTQ community hit hard by virus’ economic impact

While studies have confirmed that the virus disproportionately kills African Americans, Black members of the LGBTQ community are facing both health and economic impacts

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – JUNE 28: (l,R) Dede Hodge, Keke Bankz, Amanda Rodriguez and Damaries Rodriguez await the arrival of the Pride Without Prejudice march on June 28, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. Demonstrators gathered to march for LGBTQ and Black Lives as protests continue across the nation. (Photo by Natasha Moustache/Getty Images)

Research says the Black LGBTQ community has been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic for a variety of reasons.

A new report shows that many are essential frontline workers. Nearly 20% of Black LGBTQ adults work in retail, food service, and the restaurant industry.

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In addition to the fact that the virus has already disproportionately killed African Americans, Black gays seem to receive a double-blow of hardship.

The Human Rights Commission released a report about the economic impact of COVID-19 on the Black LGBTQ community and noted that 23% of national coronavirus deaths are represented by Blacks who only make up 13% of the population. 

LGBTQ 2018 midterm elections manifesto
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The report notes that 31% of Black LGBTQ respondents to their survey said that their work hours have been reduced due to the pandemic compared to 23% of Black respondents and 28% of LGBTQ respondents of other races. 

36% of Black LGBTQ respondents said that they have made changes to their household budgets, compared to 27% of other Black respondents, 30% of LGBTQ respondents of other races, and 26% of the general population. 

The study also noted that Black LGBTQ respondents are more likely to have to ask for delays or extensions of their bills and rent than most. 

“Within the LGBTQ community, many at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities are at some of the greatest risk of facing the economic fallout from COVID-19,” the report states.

The study was conducted between April 16 and July 8. They noted that their Black transgender and non-binary respondents represented an extraordinarily small number, but that their experiences should be included.

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“We know Black people are dying from COVID-19 at extremely alarming rates. Unfortunately, this new research shows Black people and Black LGBTQ people are suffering disproportionate economic inequities,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement reprinted by NBC News

“The data make clear what we have long known: that those living at the intersections of multiply marginalized identities face harsher consequences of the pandemic.”

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