LGBTI+ community experienced greater hardship due to lockdown, finds report from LGBT Ireland, NXF and GCN

LGBT Ireland, together with the National LGBT Federation (NXF) and Gay Community News (GCN) released the LGBTI+ Life in Lockdown Survey Report on Friday 27th November.

Amongst other findings, the survey of 1,855 members of the LGBT Community has shown that 62% experienced a decline in their mental health during lockdown, substantially higher than the impacts reported in the general population in recent surveys.

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused incredible hurt, damage and loss across all aspects of society around the world. While everyone has felt the impact, some communities are hit worse than others, whether by the virus itself or by its knock-on effects.

The LGBTI+ Community already endures the injustice of discrimination and inequality, and the results from this snapshot survey show that the pandemic and lockdown has hit the LGBTI+ community much harder than the general population.

The voices represented in the report highlight the struggles of LGBTI+ people who are additionally marginalised including LGBTI+ migrants, Traveller and Roma, refugees, older, living with a long-term disability, or other intersectional identities. These groups have been the most impacted amongst the LGBTI+ community.

The LGBTI+ community rely on community spaces, social connections, and the ability to take pride in their identities, together. The community has suffered so many different forms of loss throughout this pandemic, and for many it is difficult to see the end in sight.

LGBT Ireland, NXF and GCN are grateful to the people who shared their perspectives on how this global health crisis has affected their physical and mental health, how the sudden social isolation has impacted their lives and relationships and how the situation has further exacerbated existing inequalities. The insights from this research will help to design the support and educational services provided by the vital LGBTI+ groups across the country.

To access the report, please visit https://lgbt.ie/advocacy/publications/

The National LGBT Helpline 1890-929539 is available 7 days a week, hours of operation on LGBT.ie

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NXF statement regarding deaths of two men in Sligo

The National LGBT Federation (NXF) is deeply shocked and disturbed at the deaths of two men in Sligo this week. 

We wish to express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of both men and offer our support to all those affected. We encourage all to attend the series of vigils which are taking place across the country from this evening (Friday, April 15) through to Monday (April 18) in memory of both men and to show support and solidarity. 

The appalling events in Sligo, along with the vicious assault of a man in the same town as well as the assault of a man in Dublin is extremely shocking and upsetting for all, but particularly those in the LGBT+ community.  

Gavin Hennessy, Chair of the National LGBT Federation, said 

“It is disturbing to think that in the Ireland of 2022 people are being targeted for abuse or worse because of who they are. This represents the extreme outcome of a spectrum of violence that is an all too frequent occurrence for LGBT+ people. In addition to long called for Hate Crime legislation that must be effective and not merely symbolic, we also need to have a serious national conversation about homophobia and the continuing prevalence of anti-LGBT+ abuse, which is actually on the rise in Ireland and elsewhere.” 

Adam Long, Advocacy & Policy, added 

“The profoundly shocking events of the past few days should remove any complacency that homophobic Hate Crime is not an issue in Ireland. Such crimes do not occur in a vacuum, and we must make it clear through a combination of legal and educational measures that targeting someone due to their sexual or gender identity will not be tolerated in any form. To that end, we are calling for robust Hate Crime legislation and online safety measures to be prioritised, the former identified in our ‘Burning Issues’ research as the leading legislative priority for our community. Our research from just last month also reveals that it is a reform supported by 90% of the Irish public.  

Robust and effective laws are just one part of what must be a strong whole-of-society response against anti-LGBT+ hate and violence. Inclusive education is also crucial and a State that is proactively pro-LGBT+ rights and equality.” 

LGBT+ communities have fought long and hard to be visible and to proudly take our place in the public realm. We are not about to compromise that hard-won visibility. The Irish State has a duty to ensure we are able to live our lives in the absence of any kind of fear or discrimination.”  

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