COVID-19 Is Still Wreaking Financial Havoc on Black Queer People

So why aren't we talking about it?

New research from HRC and PSB Insights is shedding light on the devastating financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on America’s LGBTQ community—and its disproportionately severe repercussions for Black queer people.

For HRC’s latest report, “The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Black LGBTQ People,” PSB Insights conducted 10 online polls between April 16 and July 8. In total, 10,000 U.S. adults were surveyed with weights adjusted to Census demographics. And the findings are damning: Black queer respondents were more likely to report losing income, working fewer hours, and trimming their household budgets than non-Black or non-LGBTQ people.

What’s more, 18% of Black LGBTQ respondents said they became unemployed due to COVID-19 compared to 16% of LGBTQ people and 12% of the general population. The $600 weekly supplement on top of regular unemployment benefits expired last Friday, July 31—and if this new report is any indication, Black LGBTQ people will feel that loss harder than most Americans.

These findings are in line with previous research from HRC and PSB Insights. As NewNowNext reported in May, both groups first noted such discrepancies in a more general report on the financial health of queer communities of color. The disparities between Black and non-Black Americans aren’t limited to the coronavirus’ financial toll, either. A whopping 23% of all COVID-19-related deaths in America have been Black people despite Black people making up just 13% of the country’s population.

These numbers should serve as “a clarion call to policymakers,” HRC president Alphonso David said in a media statement:

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. 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.

Read the new report in full here.

Brooklyn-based writer and editor. Probably drinking iced coffee or getting tattooed.
@_sammanzella