Giving Compass' Take:

• LGBTI people of color are disproportionately affected by both the health risks and the economic fallout of COVID-19. 

• How are you supporting those who face intersecting inequalities during the pandemic (and after)? 

• Understand more about inequality and intersectionality.

For an example of how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the LGBTI movement, look to Costa Rica. The Central American country recently legalized same-sex marriage, a clear victory for the LGBTI community.

“Typically, this would be an occasion where the movement would have been occupying the streets,” said Victor Madrigal-Borloz, UN Independent Expert on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation (IE SOGI) of the UN Human Rights Council. “There was nothing of that.”

Demonstrations and celebrations, staples of the LGBTI movement, could now come at the cost of public health. “Respect for the guidelines of the World Health Organization, sheltering at home, wearing masks, and understanding the importance of solidarity — this is something the movement is very mindful of,” Madrigal-Borloz said.

Instead, tens of thousands of Costa Ricans watched the livestreamed wedding ceremony of the country’s first same-sex couple to be legally married.

For LGBTI people, there’s a particular significance to demonstrating publicly in June, dubbed Pride Month, as it commemorates protests against police raids at the Stonewall Inn in New York City in June 1969 that started the modern, ongoing fight for LGBTI equality. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has made the lived inequalities of LGBTI people especially clear. According to Human Rights Campaign research, LGBT people are more likely to suffer health complications from COVID-19, work in harder-hit industries such as food service, live in poverty, and be homeless. The global protests over racial injustice also demonstrate that many LGBTI people of color face discrimination for multiple reasons. As Madrigal-Borloz emphasized, “No one is solely defined by their sexuality.”

LGBTI people of color often find themselves on the fringes of society without formal jobs, shelter, supportive families, or wider social acceptance. Today, they are disproportionately affected by both the health risks and economic fallout of COVID-19, according to new research, which finds that LGBT people of color are more likely than white or straight counterparts to have lost their jobs or had their work hours cut during the pandemic.

Read the full article about intersecting inequalities by Devin Domeyer at United Nations Foundation.