New Data Shows Black LGBTQ People Disproportionately Suffer Adverse Economic Impact of COVID-19

Tthe Human Rights Campaign Foundation released new data outlining the economic impact of COVID-19 on Black LGBTQ people. The research, released in partnership with PSB Insights, builds on prior data showing that LGBTQ people, especially LGBTQ people of color and specifically transgender people of color, are disproportionately impacted economically by the pandemic. The new research shows that Black LGBTQ people are more likely to have had their employment adversely impacted due to the virus, are more likely to have made changes to their budgets and are more likely to have asked for delays in paying various expenses for necessities.

“Even as Black communities, especially Black trans communities, across the country are reckoning with racism and violence, Black LGBTQ people are also being disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “We know Black people are dying from COVID-19 at extremely alarming rates. Unfortunately, this new research shows Black people and Black LGBTQ people are suffering disproportionate economic inequities. The data make clear what we have long known: that those living at the intersections of multiply marginalized identities face harsher consequences of the pandemic. It is a clarion call to policymakers that we must do all we can to combat the virus and its economic impact on multiply marginalized communities.”

The data show that:

  • 31% of Black LGBTQ respondents had their work hours reduced due to COVID-19, compared to 23% of Black respondents, 28% of LGBTQ respondents and 22% of the general sample population.
  • 18% of Black LGBTQ respondents became unemployed due to COVID-19, compared to 16% of Black respondents, 16% of LGBTQ people and 12% of the general sample population

These economic realities have also led to financial challenges for Black LGBTQ people, causing many to make changes to their budgets and ask for delays in various expenses for necessities:

  • 36% of Black LGBTQ respondents have made changes to their household budgets, compared to 27% of Black respondents, 30% of LGBTQ respondents and 26% of the general sample population.
  • 28% of Black LGBTQ respondents have taken out more cash from the bank, compared to 15% of Black respondents, 18% of LGBTQ respondents and 13% of the general sample population.
  • 20% of Black LGBTQ respondents have checked to see if their bank account has overdrafted, compared to 14% of Black respondents, 14% of LGBTQ respondents and 10% of the general sample population.
  • 21% of Black LGBTQ respondents have asked for delays in paying their bills, compared to 17% of Black respondents, 14% of LGBTQ respondents and 12% of the general sample population.
  • 23% of Black LGBTQ respondents have asked for delays in paying their rent, compared to 12% of Black respondents, 11% of LGBTQ respondents and 7% of the general sample population.

With the expiration of the $600 federal supplement for unemployment benefits on Friday, July 31, it’s clear that the communities who are the hardest hit economically — including Black LGBTQ people, as the data above shows — will also be the most impacted by that expiration. As it’s also becoming more and more clear that Black, Indigenous and Latinx people are also facing disproportionately higher death rates from COVID-19, there must be immediate action to ensure that multiply marginalized communities are not discriminated against in the response to COVID-19 and in any aid packages that are meant to help combat this pandemic and its effects.

The new data and resource build on HRC’s previously released reports, The Lives and Livelihoods of Many in the LGBTQ Community are at Risk Amidst COVID-19 Crisis” and “The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ Community,” published in March and April. In June, HRC released “The Impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ Communities of Color,” which documented the heightened risk of LGBTQ people of color in facing negative economic consequences from the pandemic, and “The Economic Impact of COVID-19 Intensifies for Transgender and LGBTQ Communities of Color,” which showed that transgender people, especially transgender people of color, are more likely to face negative economic consequences as a result of the virus.

HRC has also partnered with the Black Trans Advocacy Coalition on a resource, “Finding Financial Stability During Turbulent Times,” with steps and advice for those who may be struggling to make ends meet during these difficult times.

Read more about HRC’s efforts during COVID-19 here.

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