It has been a couple of months since OutRight released the findings of our rapid research into the effects of COVID-19 on LGBTIQ people: “Vulnerability Amplified: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on LGBTIQ People.” It has also been several months since we launched our Emergency Fund supporting LGBTIQ organizations on the front lines, who are helping LGBTIQ people who have not only been disproportionately affected by the pandemic and containment measures, but also too often excluded from relief efforts due to binary gendered approaches, non-inclusive definitions of “family”, or homophobic or transphobic relief workers.
Within the first 3 weeks of opening the fund for applications, we received almost 1500 applications from 131 countries in every region of the world. The volume of appeals and the types of support requested gave us additional insight into the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on LGBTIQ people, echoing strongly that vulnerable people become even more vulnerable during times of crisis.
Overwhelmingly, 55% of applications appealed for support to alleviate hunger. This is because LGBTIQ people are overrepresented in the informal employment sector, without job security, often relying on daily wages, and were therefore strongly hit by the containment measures surrounding the pandemic. Almost 20% of requests related to healthcare, COVID-19-related or otherwise. LGBTIQ people face discrimination and refusal of services even in the absence of a pandemic, during it the barriers became stronger, including also lack of access to crucial HIV and gender-affirming treatment. And, echoing the specific and long-term nature of this pandemic, slightly more than 10% of requests to OutRight’s COVID Fund related to threats to the survival of LGBTIQ organizations - a frightening prospect, especially when considering the long-term impact on LGBTIQ movements around the world.
We have collated and analysed the data from our emergency fund, and are pleased to share with you a short briefing with insight and conclusions.
Together, the two initiatives - the research issued in May and the data from the Emergency Fund - overwhelmingly show that the need facing LGBTIQ people and grassroots organizations across the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and surrounding containment measures is dire. Consequently OutRight is continuing to raise funds for the Emergency Fund in the hopes that we can support ever more of the almost 1500 requests we received.
With many thanks for your ongoing support and interest in OutRight's work,
Executive Director, OutRight Action International
Published on July 20, 2020 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization