The report, conducted in partnership with Community Marketing and Insights (CMI) with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, found that BIPOC LGBTQ+ respondents were twice as likely to test positive more than once compared to white LGBTQ+ respondents. Furthermore, 9 out of 10 LGBTQ+ adults reported that the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on their mental health.
The study found that one-third (33%) of LGBTQ+ respondents said they have tested positive for COVID-19. Latinx LGBTQ+ respondents were substantially more likely than LGBTQ+ respondents of other race/ethnicities to have ever tested positive, reported by more than four in ten (42%) Latinx LGBTQ+ respondents, versus approximately 30% each of Black (31%), Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) (32%), White (30%), and multiracial LGBTQ+ respondents (29%). Furthermore, almost one fifth (18%) of LGBTQ+ adults in the sample tested positive for COVID-19 more than once, with BIPOC LGBTQ+ respondents approximately twice as likely to have done so than white LGBTQ+ adults, including:
- 22% of Latinx LGBTQ+ respondents tested positive for COVID-19 two or more times
- 20% of Black LGBTQ+ respondents tested positive for COVID-19 two or more times
- 21% of AANHPI LGBTQ+ respondents tested positive for COVID-19 two or more times
- 19% of multiracial LGBTQ+ respondents tested positive for COVID-19 two or more times
- 10% of white LGBTQ+ respondents tested positive for COVID-19 two or more times
The negative mental health impact of the pandemic on LGBTQ+ respondents were clear, with 90% of them reporting the pandemic had a negative impact on their mental health and only 8% reporting the pandemic had no effect on their mental health.
- 36% of LGBTQ+ respondents experienced only negative impacts to their mental health
- 53% of LGBTQ+ respondents experienced both negative and positive impacts to their mental health
- Less than 2% of LGBTQ+ respondents experienced only positive impacts on their mental health
Despite this, more than half (56%) of LGBTQ+ respondents experienced an unmet need for mental health counseling, encountering at least one barrier to being able to obtain desired mental health care. When asked why they did not receive the desired mental health services, the most commonly cited reason was cost: more than half (58%) said that cost concerns or barriers prevented them from obtaining mental health services, statistically significantly more likely to be cited than any other reason. Over a quarter (26%) were unable to obtain care because they could not find an LGBTQ+ inclusive mental health provider.
This is the newest research in a long line of HRC’s previously released reports into the impacts of COVID-19, which began in 2020 at the onset of the pandemic. Earlier this year, HRC released “LGBTQ+ Health Equity & Covid-19: Vaccines, Boosters And Pathways To Positive Long-Term Health” and “LGBTQ+ Health Equity & Covid-19: Building Trust And Confidence For The Health Of Our Communities” was published in 2021. Additionally in 2020, HRC released “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.” At the onset of the pandemic, HRC released “The Impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ Communities of Color,” and “The Economic Impact of COVID-19 Intensifies for Transgender and LGBTQ Communities of Color.”