The COVID-19 pandemic has had disastrous effects on pretty much everyone and everything. However, it won’t be incorrect to suggest that the LGBTQ community is even more vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic.
Here’s why this might be.
Deterioration of Mental Well-Being
According to research, members of the LGBTQ community are already prone to developing mental illnesses and are even more likely than non-LGBTQ individuals to struggle with depression or anxiety. With the pandemic, the mental health of LGBTQ youth is a major concern.
Earlier reports issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claimed that younger adults have a lesser chance of contracting the infectious disease and a greater chance of survival. However, this doesn’t mean that the youth is exempted from the effects of COVID-19 on mental health. LGBTQ individuals are more likely to experience deterioration in their mental well-being during this uncertain time, considering that they’re already at a greater risk of mental illnesses and disorders. This makes the LGBQ community, especially the youth, even more, vulnerable during this time.
Lack of Positive Interactions
LGBTQ individuals heavily rely on positive interactions within the community to enjoy a safer, more comfortable life. They tend to have close-knit ties with other members of the community and interact with them frequently to connect with them and support one another. With the recent development regarding social distancing laws, however, these positive interactions have been cut down and eliminated from their routines.
The loss of these social connections may result in a drop in happiness levels and a rise in mental health issues within the community. Research has indicated that social ties are extremely important in promoting overall wellness. It’s also especially important in preventing suicide. The lack of these interactions can trigger suicidal thoughts and tendencies among LGBTQ individuals who’re already struggling with suicidal ideation. Moreover, many LGBTQ individuals have had to leave their supportive environments and move back to their previously abusive and unsafe environment, which poses a further threat to them.
Cancellation of Pride Events
Pride Month is perhaps the most significant time of the year for the LGBTQ community. The month-long celebrations don’t just commemorate the events of Stonewall Inn, but also other achievements and accomplishments of the LGBTQ community. However, just 2 weeks after COVID-19 was officially declared to be a pandemic, more than 120 Pride festivities were canceled or postponed around the world until further notice.
Of course, this was a necessary precautionary measure to ensure the safety of the community at large, but this has been nothing short of disappointing for LHBTQ individuals who wait for Pride Month all year round. The cancellation or postponing of these mega-events means that there is one thing less to look forward to this year that recognizes and celebrates the LGBTQ community.
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