- NSWGLRL surveyed its membership and the NSW community to determine how COVID-19 had impacted them.
- Co-Convenor, Jack Whitney states that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted LGBTIQ people particularly, and amplified existing issues facing our community.
- NSWGLRL brought attention key issues in a recent submission to the Select Committee on COVID-19: An Inquiry Into The Federal Government’s Response
Beginning in early May, the NSWGLRL survey asked questions about demographics, employment, mental health, wellbeing, relationships, and healthcare. The results show matters of concern for community and policy makers alike – across economic, health and safety.
Co-convenor, Jack Whitney stated, “the research undertaken by the lobby shows that LGBTIQ people have experienced significant mental health vulnerabilities as a direct result of the COVID-19 crisis.” Other health issues highlighted by the research included stories where gender affirming surgeries had been disrupted or completely postponed.
Results illustrate the economic impacts of the crisis, where 14% of respondents lost employment during the COVID-19 crisis.
Co-Convenor, Jack Whitney, reported “the stories of the community and our members show that the majority of job losses are in financial services, community services, travel and tourism, fitness and communications.”
Other economic impacts include LGBTIQ asylum seekers who do not have access to financial assistance, particularly those on temporary protection or bridging visas.
Whitney reported, “Safety was a common issue for our members… there was a story of a young gay man who had to go back to his family home who are not supportive… he has had to stop talking to his boyfriend and friends.”
Domestic and family violence was also reported as an issue where relationships had deteriorated due to social distancing, living indoors, unemployment and other compounding factors.
Data collection of the community is also an ongoing issue, especially as the Australian Government continues to not count LGBTIQ communities in its census.
Whitney states, “data on LGBTIQ people is sorely missing and seldom collected… this is why it is so crucial that we are counted in the Australian Census… if we aren’t counted, how will we ever be able measure community wellbeing and improve outcomes for future generations?”
NSWGLRL brought attention these key issues in a recent submission to the Select Committee on COVID-19: An Inquiry Into The Federal Government’s Response.
Whitney stated, “We are confident that we have presented the issues most pressing and unique to the LGBTIQ people. We hope that the Government takes seriously our submissions, alongside with other civil society partners, like Amnesty International and the Human Rights Law Centre”.
Read our Findings Report here.
Our submission to the inquiry can be found here.
For further comment, contact Jack Whitney Co-Convenor on 0411387913.
If this article brings on mental health presentations, or you just want someone to talk to, please contact: Lifeline 13 11 14, QLife (LGBTI+, 3pm to 12am) 1800 184 527, Headspace – 1800 650 890