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  • The Impact of Lockdown on Scottish LGBT+ Communities

    Created: 19/11/2020

    2 out of 3 LGBT+ people have faced isolation or loneliness during the COVID pandemic and it has been the single biggest challenge for the community, as outlined in a new report published 16th November 2020.

    'Community Matters - The Impact of Lockdown on Scottish LGBT+ Communities', released as part of the Rainbow Responders programme managed by Pink Saltire, details a worrying number of LGBT+ people are dealing with mental health challenges, with many turning to drink and drugs to help them cope.

    The research has also evidence very low levels of trust in public services amongst the LGBT+ community and disproportionately low levels of funding for vital services.

    The key findings were:

    • 66% of LGBT+ people said they had faced isolation or loneliness since lockdown began in March 2020, the single biggest challenge facing the community.
    • 49% want support for their mental health, rising to over 60% amongst the bi/pan, queer and trans community
    • Just 0.34% of an £80million support package for Scottish charities has reached LGBT groups
    • More than 1 in 3 young people (35%) had to hide their true identity in the home during lockdown
    • Less than 1 in 5 LGBT+ people (19%) said they trust public services to meet their specific needs, dropping to just 6% for young people and just 4% for the trans community
    • 38% of ethnic minority LGBT+ people faced financial difficulties
    • 36% of all LGBT+ people didn't have enough food at points during the crisis
    • 1 in 5 people (22%) said they are drinking more and 1 in 3 people (35%) have turned to other substances to help get them through these difficult times
    • Shockingly, more than 1 in 3 people (35%) didn't know where to turn for help

    With more than 1,000 survey participants and scores of LGBT+ organisations taking part, this study is the most comprehensive review of the impact of COVID and the lockdown measures on LGBT+ people in Scotland. 


    During their research, people have shared their own ideas and suggestions on how to #BuildBackBetter and improve life for LGBT+ people in Scotland.

    Detailed recommendations are outlined in the main report, but are summarised here:

    • Urgent investment in services to support the mental health and wellbeing of LGBT+ people, run by LGBT+ people
    • Practical aid and capacity building for projects working with LGBT+ asylum seekers and refugees
    • Clearer, co-ordinated messaging on what services are available to LGBT+ people in Scotland
    • Local and regional action plans feeding into a national consortium of agencies spearheading the ongoing COVID response, with funding and resources to tackle the challenges identified
    • Work to improve the physical assets and resources of communities around the country, including spaces to organise relief efforts and mobile community hubs
    • Improved engagement with ethnic minorities, disabled people and those in island and rural communities, ensuring their specific needs are being addressed


    You can find out more about the work of the UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity here or read the summary on the impacts of COVID for LGBT+ people around the world here.

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