Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Covid Impact on LGBTQ+

Throughout the pandemic, HRC partnered with PSB Insights to highlight the disproportionate economic and health impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ+ community.

Using polling data from thousands of U.S. adults, HRC released 5 issue briefs throughout 2020 on the disparate economic impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ+ adults, finding that LGBTQ+ adults, particularly BIPOC LGBTQ+ adults and transgender adults, were more likely than the general population to have experienced a cut in work hours, and to have become unemployed as a result of the pandemic:

  • All LGBTQ+ Adults:The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on the LGBTQ+ Community” (April 22, 2020)
    • The brief found that LGBTQ+ people are at both heightened health and economic risk of the virus, as they are;
      1. more likely to work jobs in highly affected industries, often with more exposure and/or higher economic sensitivity to the COVID-19 crisis;
      2. are less likely to have health coverage; and
      3. are more likely to smoke and have chronic illnesses like asthma that can significantly increase complications during infection.
  • LGBTQ+ BIPOC Adults:The Impact Of COVID-19 On LGBTQ+ Communities Of Color” (May 20, 2020)
    • New research from the Human Rights Campaign and PSB Insights shows the disproportionate economic impact of COVID-19 on LGBTQ+ communities of color.
  • Transgender Adults:The Economic Impact of COVID-19 Intensifies for Transgender and LGBTQ+ Communities Of Color” (June 15, 2020)
    • New data, released in partnership with PSB Insights, now demonstrates the real, devastating economic impact of COVID-19 on the transgender community, especially transgender people of color.
  • Black LGBTQ+ people:The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Black LGBTQ+ People” (August 2020)
    • As of July 22, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control reported that nearly a quarter (23%) of COVID-19 deaths have been Black individuals, despite Black individuals making up only 13% of the United States population. In other words, the percent of deaths from COVID-19 that are Black individuals is 77% greater than the percent of Black people in the United States.
  • Latinx LGBTQ+ people: The Economic Impact of COVID-19 on Latinx LGBTQ+ People (September 2020)
    • Latinx LGBTQ people are employed in some of the industry’s most highly affected by the pandemic as many are frontline workers. As of September 2, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control reported that nearly 21% of provisional death counts involving the coronavirus disease have been Latinx individuals, who make up nearly 19% of the United States populous.

Additional research from HRC and PSB Insights published in August 2020 (“COVID-19 Continues to Adversely Impact LGBTQ+ People While Initial Phases of Reopening Create New Economic Problems“) found that the negative economic consequences of the pandemic were persisting longer for LGBTQ+ adults than their cisgender and straight peers.

This research provides added confirmation of what has long been known: the most vulnerable communities are being hit hardest by the pandemic, even in the reopened economy.

These releases have garnered widespread coverage from a range of major news outlets and targeted publications, including NBC News, VICE, Huffington Post, NY Daily News, Metro Weekly, and Advocate. Highlights from the research have also been prominently featured in several interviews and features with HRC’s President Alphonso David.

Full research available here: Research on LGBTQ+ People and the COVID-19 Pandemic – Human Rights Campaign (

Coverage Includes:

For more information, please contact Amy Crosby at [email protected]

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