New research finds three in four LGBTQI women and non-binary people are experiencing worse mental health due to the pandemic
BY HARRIET ARGENT, IMAGE BY SAMSON KATT VIA PEXELS
Results of The DIVA Survey: LGBTQI Women and Non-Binary People’s Insight 2021, released today to coincide with Lesbian Visibility Day, show the impact the pandemic has had on LGBTQI women and non-binary people in the UK and beyond.
This groundbreaking survey was commissioned by DIVA in partnership with LGBT charity Stonewall and leading insights and consulting company Kantar. Of the almost 2000 respondents, 77% reported worse mental health as a result of lockdowns implemented due to Covid-19 and over half said they had accessed mental health services in the past 12 months, with a further 12% saying their attempts to do so were unsuccessful.
Almost two thirds of respondents said being unable to see friends and family was a concern of theirs, and 51% said they were worried about the health of friends and family. A further 48% were also concerned about their own decreased wellbeing.
Bisexual people less likely to be open about sexuality
On top of the pandemic, the survey looked at other factors impacting LGBTQI people in the UK and found that bisexual people were less likely to be open with their friends and family about their sexual orientation than their lesbian counterparts.
Only 31% of bisexual respondents said they were open with all their close friends about their sexuality, compared to 57% of lesbian respondents. In addition, 81% of lesbian respondents said they were open with all or most of their family members, whereas only 50% of bisexual people said the same.
In some more positive news, it seems love is still in the air despite lockdowns and deteriorating mental health. Of the 61% of respondents who were in a relationship at the start of the pandemic, 87% have stayed coupled up.
Time for a celebration
The survey was conducted as part of Lesbian Visibility Week 2021, an event designed to support, celebrate and uplift the lesbian community.
Founder of Lesbian Visibility Week and publisher of DIVA magazine, Linda Riley, said she was delighted to be working with Stonewall for the campaign.
“For too long the L in LGBTQI has been under-represented and not celebrated within the community, hopefully Lesbian Visibility week will finally give our voices a chance to shine,” she said.
CEO of Stonewall, Nancy Kelley, also said she was excited about the partnership and this opportunity to create a space to empower and uplift the lesbian community.
“This last year has been hard for every one of us, and this survey highlights some of the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people throughout this time. But it also shows the need to come together in celebration,” she said.
Nancy also said she loved that the community supported and championed each other and this Lesbian Visibility Week would be a powerful, joyful celebration.
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