Most LGBT+ people are taking coronavirus very seriously but some are still insisting they will go for dates and hook-ups during the pandemic.
That’s according to a new survey which took a snapshot of LGBT+ people in the UK about COVID-19.
It shows 57% of LGBT+ people feel their lives will be worse off in six months time as a result of the pandemic.
Moreover, most are very concerned about it.
Around nine in 10 of those surveyed believe coronavirus is a threat to their health. That figure is lowest in under 18-year-olds, but even among them, 88% agree it’s a threat. It’s highest in those aged 65 or over – 95% say it’s a threat.
Meanwhile, 32% of people, almost a third, are worried because they are officially vulnerable or have a pre-existing medical condition. And another 18% say their biggest worry is that their partner, family member or friend is vulnerable. 3% are scared they may die.
Dating, hook-ups, the gym and Pride
Events in the UK have overtaken part of the survey. It asked how people may change their lives to protect themselves and others.
However, researchers from Queer Voices Heard ran the survey from 13 to 20 March. Since then, the government has effectively shut down the UK, closing gyms, bars, clubs, non-essential shops and more.
But even before that happened, 68% said they would stop going to LGBT+ venues during the pandemic. Meanwhile almost two thirds said they would stop using the gym.
Despite this high level or responsibility, a few do not agree.
The survey reveals that 28% would still go on dates during the pandemic and 24% would attend LGBT+ events. Moreover, 16% would have sex or hook-ups.
However, there is good news for Pride organizers who have cancelled events during the pandemic.
The results show that 75% of people support the decision to cancel or postpone Prides. And only 7% oppose it.
Already around 60 Pride events across the UK have cancelled or postponed. The Prides in Birmingham and London are among the high-profile postponements so far.
Who should advice come from?
Sadly, the survey shows LGBT+ public confidence is not good for 2020.
A massive 57% of those in the survey said they expected their lives to be worse in six months time. Only 17% expected them to be better.
Meanwhile, people are looking to LGBT+ organizations to give them advice and support during the pandemic.
88% of people said the UK government is very or partially responsible for their health advice. However, over three quarters are expecting that advice from sexual health clinics, healthcare charities and LGBT+ media.
GSN takes this responsibility seriously. We have already published articles with advice, including these:
And for HIV positive people.
‘Vital we listen to our community’
Max Willson lead researcher on this study, says:
‘There is a genuine fear within the LGBTQ+ community, which is shared more widely in society, that COVID-19 poses a real threat to our physical health, mental health, the relationships that we have with others, and our way of life.
‘The way we live our lives will undoubtedly change because of COVID-19. And the way in which our community, and society more generally, adapts to these changes will be key over the next six months.’
Meanwhile, Stu Hosker, co-founder of Queer Voices Heard, which ran the survey, adds:
‘When mental health and social isolation already disproportionately affects our community than the general population, it’s vital that we listen to the voices in our community who are most vulnerable – physically, mentally, and socially – and address how we keep their best interests in mind during this unprecedented health emergency.’
SOURCE: GAY STAR NEWS