How COVID-19 is impacting Canada’s LGBTQI2S community
On April 6th, Egale, Canada’s national non-profit organisation supporting the the LGBTQI2S community in Canada, released research showing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on this community across Canada. These impacts ranged from risks to household finances, job loss, mental health and more.
Says Helen Kennedy, executive director at Egale Canada “This research is the first of its kind in Canada and has given us a glimpse at the unique vulnerabilities and challenges that our LGBTQI2S people face in this crisis – This is only a starting point.” Some of the key findings of the report include;
- More than half (52%) of Canada’s LGBTQI2S households have faced lay-offs or reduced employment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to 39% of overall Canadian households.
- The perceived negative impacts on mental health over time increase exponentially for LGBTQI2S people with nearly 60% of LGBTQI2S respondents reporting that they expect their mental health to be negatively impacted in the next 2 months compared to only 42% of the general public
The report highlights that in some areas there is a nearly 25% increase in perceived or negative impacts expected for particularly vulnerable members of the community. “Our LGBTQI2S community is facing critical needs that show the potential to worsen over time – now is the time to be looking at the problems that are on the horizon, not just for LGBTQI2S people, but for everyone.” Says Kennedy.
While Canada has a far better recent track record for human rights for the LGBTQI2S community, many still face social stigma, especially those in the trans community. Research like this is important to understanding how much more vulnerable certain communities are at a time like this. Such research into vulnerable populations can help the federal government to better understand and thus develop different programs that can address these vulnerabilities.
Innovative Research Group conducted the online study on behalf of Egale Canada among a representative sample of 2,610 adult Canadians from March 24-29. The sample was weighted by age, gender, region and sexual orientation. While not as well known outside Ontario, Egale is currently the only national organisation working to advance LGBTQI2S human rights.
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Information Source: Egale Canada via Canada Newswire
Author: Alexa Hurst is a staff writer for HUM@Nmedia, the parent brand for Optimyz Magazine and Silver Magazine.