New Poll: COVID Hitting LGBTQ Youth Harder

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday October 6, 2020

A new poll shows that while the COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on everyone, it's been worse for LGBTQ youth, NBC Out reports.

The poll was released by The Trevor Project, which supports LGTBQ youth and combats suicide. Among the results: "Nearly 1 in 4 LGBTQ youth who responded said they were unable to access mental health care because of the pandemic," NBC Out reported.

Moreover, three out of four LGBTQ youth respondents said that they were experiencing "symptoms of anxiety" and "symptoms of depression," a higher rate for both than experienced by heterosexual and cisgender young people.

CEO and President of The Trevor Project, Amit Paley, said that the pandemic, and other challenges of 2020, have been "especially challenging for LGBTQ youth, and particularly Black LGBTQ youth, who have found themselves at the crossroads of multiple mounting tragedies," and added that the survey results "illuminate the existence of alarming mental health disparities that must be addressed through public policy."

An NBC Out story from last May reported that health care disparities for LGBTQ Americans have grown as a result of the pandemic and its economic consequences, with even some major clinics geared to the LGBTQ community struggling to provide care.

Part of that discrepancy is also attributable to anti-LGBTQ discrimination; NBC Out cited a 2018 report from the Center for American Progress that "found 8 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer people and 29 percent of transgender people reported that a doctor or health care provider had refused to see them because of their sexual orientation or gender identity."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.