The Deep Effects of Covid on the Gay Community
By Mathura Hawley
As if still pushing for our human rights and literally fighting for the lives of our trans family isn’t tough enough, the LGBTQ community is one of the hardest hit by the effects of the COVID pandemic.
Many in the LGBTQ community have not worked for over a year. Broadway, TV and movie productions were shut down, and there are many of us in front of and behind the cameras, from actors to set designers to writers and producers. We are your restaurant servers, your hotel concierges, your retail workers, your dog walkers and your fashion and hairstylists. Our work came to a halt with little backup and often complicated unemployment rules for service workers. 56% of the LGBTQ population has been out of work, more than 10% higher than the rest of the world.
Personally, many of us have grown up having been rejected or disconnected from our parent’s homes, and we often form our families from the friends in our lives. During Covid, we were unable to be with those friends, making isolation unbearable. 74% of LGBTQ people say they have suffered serious mental and emotional distress, vs. 49% who identify as straight. Social media was our lifeline, but like the rest of the world, we burned out on that, too. We are not the only ones. Other marginalized groups are in the same boat, and with the failure of small businesses they are also losing their local support systems.
This past year we have seen the world changing in front of us, and we can identify with other marginalized groups who are fighting to be seen and heard. From Black Lives Matter to Stop Asian Hate to Transgender Equality, there is a groundswell of focus on inclusion. Inclusion is the right for all people, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, to be respected and appreciated as valuable members of their communities. In our current climate, where it seems that everything is partisan or marketed to us by big business, what can we do to make sure everyone is included and treated fairly?
Get involved. Join an online advocacy group. Vote. Talk with your neighbors, even the ones you may not agree with. Expose those around you to information, including who you are.
Challenge your own ways of thinking. Find your people. Shop local. And spend your dollar on companies that share your values.
D.O.B was created with this purpose. We provide access to sustainable, inclusive and local brands you may have never heard of. We will give those brands, their creative designs and their causes, access to the D.O.B community, people like you who care about making informed and ethical choices when you shop.