Experiences of violence and discrimination among LGBTQ+ individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic: a global cross-sectional analysis – World – ReliefWeb

Tyler Adamson, Elle Lett, Jennifer Glick, Henri M Garrison-Desany, Arjee Restar

Abstract

Objectives To characterise the extent to which the levels of violence and discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people have changed amid COVID-19.

Design Cross-sectional, secondary analysis.

Setting 79 countries.

Participants All adults (aged ≥18 years) who used the Hornet social networking application and provided consent to participate.

Main outcome measure The main outcome was whether individuals have experienced less, or the same or more levels of discrimination and violence from specific groups (eg, police and/or military, government representatives, healthcare providers).

Results 7758 LGBTQ+ individuals provided responses regarding levels of discrimination and violence. A majority identified as gay (78.95%) and cisgender (94.8%). Identifying as gay or queer was associated with increased odds of experiencing the same or more discrimination from government representatives (OR=1.89, 95% CI 1.04 to 3.45, p=0.045) and healthcare providers (OR=2.51, 95% CI 0.86 to 7.36, p=0.002) due to COVID-19. Being a member of an ethnic minority was associated with increased odds of discrimination and violence from police and/or military (OR=1.32, 95% CI 1.13 to 1.54, p=0.0) and government representatives (OR=1.47, 95% CI 1.29 to 1.69, p=0.0) since COVID-19. Having a disability was significantly associated with increased odds of violence and discrimination from police and/or military (OR=1.38, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.71, p=0.0) and healthcare providers (OR=1.35, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.71, p=0.009).

Conclusions Our results suggest that despite the upending nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, around the world, government representatives, policymakers and healthcare providers continue to perpetuate systemic discrimination and fail to prevent violence against members of the LGBTQ+ community.

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