LGBTQ+ Progression Throughout the Pandemic

The isolation brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed the LGBTQ+ community behind a screen, causing the world to lose sight of the progress they have made.

Studies have shown that people in the LGBTQ+ community are faced with more mental health issues as opposed to straight and cis people. A study of The Trevor Project showed that “70% of LGBTQ youth stated that their mental health was “poor” most of the time or always during COVID-19.”With the virus restraining everyone to their homes, the time alone has enticed many to question themselves as queer. One anonymous person said the pandemic “forced me to think about who I am when no one’s watching.” A recent study of The Trevor Project showed that about one-in-four LGBTQ+ youth identify as nonbinary. Compliments not referring to the gender individuals were assigned at birth and acceptance from friends and family have proven as a “source of affirmation and happiness for nonbinary youth.” The study also concluded that when a teens’ preferred pronouns are not used, it increases the risk of attempted suicide by over 250%, whereas having people who respect pronouns greatly reduces the risk of suicide. In addition to the many people who came out, a good deal of LGBTQ+ representatives were elected into Congress in the 2020 election, bringing the known members of the community in Congress to 26 people. This progress represents a historic moment in LGBTQ+ rights in America. The pandemic also negatively affected many small businesses, including the last lesbian and gay bars in America, and forcing them to be shut down. The Human Rights Campaign’s initiative, “Queer to Stay,” was put in place to help preserve the remaining LGBTQ+ businesses. The LGBTQ+ people of color, women and the transgender community are Queer to Stay’s main focus. In June of 2021, The Lesbian Bar Project released a 20 minute documentary on the importance of the struggles of these bars throughout the pandemic.

 

An amazing accomplishment for the U.S. State department was when they announced that there will now be LGBTQ+-inclusive passports, marking the start of the government accepting all identities. This will allow nonbinary Americans to obtain a passport that reflects their identity, and also make it easier for transgender individuals to update gender markers without requiring a physician notice to change it. Five years ago, the Pulse nightclub suffered a shooting that claimed the lives of 49 people who were mostly young, Latinx, and LGBTQ+. Now, also in June of 2021, President Biden signed a law stating the Pulse nightclub an official national memorial site of the lives who were lost that day.

With the incredible progress, the LGBTQ+ community has made during the dreadful years of the pandemic, there is still much more awaiting the LGBTQ+ community with its progressing motivation.