Anyone who visits our website will know that LGBTQ individuals face a number of obstacles not shared by our straight counterparts. We are more likely to suffer from depression, alcoholism, or drug use. We are more likely to attempt suicide. Young people are especially vulnerable to anti-LGBTQ sentiment. What about money? Are LGBTQ people more likely to go bankrupt — especially during this economic downturn as the result of the coronavirus pandemic?
Madonna called COVID-19 a “great equalizer,” and was nearly canceled as a result. She had failed to adequately articulate how the virus is far more likely to infect people of color or homeless individuals or anyone else in a minority community. These groups are often more likely to die of serious complications as well. It stands to reason that these groups — which already suffer financially — will be more burdened by these realities as well.
Although LGBTQ people aren’t necessarily at increased danger from infection, their financial situation might be.
A 2019 poll discovered that more than half of members of the LGBTQ community are “anxious” about their financial situation. Only 41 percent of heterosexuals feel the same way. Of course, the poll didn’t actually look at specific finances — only feelings toward — and so the results could simply be indicative of character traits rather than financial stability or instability.
The Fullman Firm (https://www.fullmanfirm.com/) acknowledged that many clients come from LGBTQ homes or are in same-sex relationships, but admitted that they hadn’t compiled any relevant statistics.
Here’s what else the 2019 survey divulged: 42 percent of LGBTQ individuals are depressed because of money compared to 31 percent of straight people. LGBTQ people were both more pessimistic and more likely to feel something akin to shame than their straight counterparts. Straight people routinely felt more confident about their financial situations — and more in control. This survey was conducted with more than 6,600 participants by the WNYC podcast “Nancy.”
President Biden has already taken several steps to support LGBTQ equality, but none of these occurred within the context of economic relief passed for COVID-19. In one of his first acts during the first day in office, Biden signed Executive Order “Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation,” which forces federal agencies to ensure that the recent Supreme Court decision of Bostock v. Clayton is upheld. It guarantees that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes both gender identity and sexual orientation as part of its discrimination protections.
Biden’s nominations have also bolstered the LGBTQ community’s participation in National politics. Former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was nominated (and later confirmed) as Biden’s Transportation Secretary. Biden also nominated Dr. Rachel Levine as his assistant secretary of health, who has extensive experience leading during the coronavirus pandemic and writing about important issues like LGBTQ medicine, the opioid crisis, medical marijuana — and hey, guess what? She is openly transgender!