Londeka from the Queer Platform Reporters talks about the strain that the lockdown has had on her mental health as a queer woman, and how it has affected some of her peers. The piece reflects on what it means to see the whole world having to do what most LGBTI+ people have to do most of the time – wear a mask.
They ask questions about how to deal with having no outlet to reveal feelings that relate to one’s sexuality in a home where one has to pretend to be something else, plus deal with the stresses of COVID-19.
FACTS & DEFINITIONS:
“LGBTI youth are at high risk of familial rejection. This results in increased mental health difficulties among young LGBTI people who are closeted, or who are out and forced to quarantine with often unaccepting or abusive family members. This may lead to an increase in domestic violence experienced by LGBTI people – in many cases this abuse is emotional, in some cases it is physical. Closeted LGBTI people will experience stress due to their inability to freely express themselves and their fear of being outed (including fear of physical and emotional consequences), which will have long-term consequences on their physical and mental health. A greater than average rate of LGBTI people are unemployed and in precarious jobs, and live on very limited and unstable financial resources. An estimated 25-40% of young people experiencing homelessness are estimated to identify as LGBTI. The current crisis shows the extreme vulnerability of people in precarious job and housing situations, including questions on access to social protection and access to healthcare services.”