HealthWilliam J. Ford

Pandemic Hits Black LGBTQ People with Double Whammy: Report

Although research has shown Blacks have been hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic, a new report shows Blacks are who also LGBTQ suffer additional economic pain.

Based on a survey conducted by the Human Rights Commission and PSB Insights, about 31% of Black LGBTQ respondents had hours reduced at their jobs, compared to 28% of other LGBTQ survey participants and 23% of other Blacks.

“The data just supports what we already are seeing in the community firsthand,” said Ashanti Martinez, 24, a gay Black man who handles constituents services for Prince George’s County Council member Tom Dernoga (D-District 1) of Laurel. “Folks that look like me that share my experiences oftentimes don’t have a level of support, don’t have the level of access or opportunity. This virus only compounds that.”

The study from HRC, a LGTBQ advocacy group, and PBS Insights, a research and analytics firm, released data based on 10 online polls conducted between April 16 and July 8 on the economic from COVID-19.

The data was released Aug. 4, less than a week after the federal government distributed the last $600 stimulus unemployment benefits.

The three-page document emphasizes Black LGBTQ people are employed in industries affected by the coronavirus outbreak that deal with the public.

For instance, 20% as food service employees, janitors, cashiers and stock workers. Nearly 20% of LGBTQ adults work in food service, at restaurants, or retail.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes as of July 22, about 23% of Blacks have died from the coronavirus, despite Blacks making up just 13% of the U.S. population.

“The percent of deaths from COVID-19 that are Black individuals is 77% greater than the percent of Black people in the United States,” according to the report. “This underscores how Black communities are being disproportionately affected by this pandemic.”

Amid the economic downturn, the report showed that 23% of Black LGBTQ respondents asked for delays in paying their rent, compared to 12% of other Blacks and 11% of other LGBTQ respondents.

Some of the other data:

– 36% of Black LGBTQ respondents have made changes to their household budgets, compared to 27% of Black respondents and 30% of other LGBTQ people.
– 28% of Black LGBTQ respondents have taken out more cash from the bank, compared to 15% of Black respondents and 18% of other LGBTQ people.
– 18% of Black LGBTQ respondents became unemployed due to COVID-19, compared to 16% of Black respondents and the same number of other LGBTQ people.

Among those in the LGBTQ community, transgender people of color are hit the hardest, according to a report by the Human Rights Commission.

“The failure of federal officials to consistently collect and report data on gender identity and sexual orientation makes it impossible to know the full health and economic toll on the transgender community or the LGBTQ community as a whole,” according to the commission’s June report.

Martinez said one solution to improve the economy would be to select leaders in public and private agencies who represent the entire community.

“We need as many diverse voices as we can in the halls of power because our problems are diverse and complexed,” he said. “If we keep electing or hiring the same people with the same pedigrees, we’re going to get the same solutions.”

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William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

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