New campaign from The Gate and FRIEND shows how LGBT communities are being disproportionally impacted by Covid-19 pandemic
'Locked Down and Out' is a project from LGBT Foundation launching in Pride Month, in partnership with advertising agency The Gate, which will shed light on the challenges that many in the LGBT community have experienced as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown measures.
The charity has seen significant spikes in calls to their crisis helpline since lockdown came into effect and need support to meet the increased demand. They have reported a rise in LGBT-phobia and hate crimes which have more than doubled in recent months, as well as a 350% increase in visits to their domestic violence webpage, and a 25% surge in calls regarding suicidal thoughts.
'Locked Down and Out' launches with a film inspired by a number of heart-breaking stories the charity has shared of young LGBT people struggling being stuck at home with intolerant parents. The film was directed by Lucrecia Taormina and produced by FRIEND, and tells the poignant story of a trans girl (played by Miya Ocego) who isn’t allowed to express her true gender identity due to her mother (played by Cate Debenham).
Key findings include:
- 8% do not feel safe where they are currently staying
- 42% would like to access support for their mental health at this time
- 18% were concerned that this situation would lead to substance or alcohol misuse or trigger a relapse.
Creatives John Osborne and Rickie Marsden of The Gate, say: “Not all issues caused by Covid-19 make the news. We kept hearing stories of fellow queer people struggling with more hate crimes, intolerant households and gender reassignment treatments being deemed 'non-essential'. We wanted to put a spotlight on this - especially during Pride Month - and help support much-needed charities like LGBT Foundation for the hard work they do. Thankfully, the great people at Friend shared our sentiments and we’re so grateful for everyone who pitched in to help bring the project to life during lockdown.”
Paul Martin OBE, chief executive of LGBT Foundation, adds: “With 'Locked Down and Out', we’re hoping to shine a light on the experiences of LGBT people and the impact that the pandemic is having on their lives. What we know is that the pandemic is having wide-ranging and profound effects on the lives of LGBT people in areas such as mental health; isolation; substance misuse; eating disorders; living in unsafe environments; financial impact; homelessness; access to healthcare; and access to support."
Martin continues: "Perhaps the starkest figure is that 8% of LGBT people do not feel safe where they are currently staying. This includes 9% of BAME LGBT people, 15% of disabled LGBT people, 17% of trans people and 17% of non-binary people. To think about how many people that must encompass, and what every single one of these people must be going through right now, is truly heartbreaking. I hope that after seeing this film any LGBT person out there watching knows that life may be incredibly difficult right now, and it may seem like life will be difficult for a long time to come, but there is support out there and we’ll always be here to listen if you need us. With your support we can continue to offer vital services including our helpline, to those most in need.”
The increased need for support for LGBT Foundation’s services has seen them increasingly stretched to meet demand, and the charity – like many other LGBT organisations – has been financially hit by the difficult economic period and cancellation of key fundraising events such as Pride.