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Every June, people around the world celebrate LGBTQ Pride Month to honor the 1969 NYC Stonewall riots which marked the catalyst for the gay rights movement. This year’s Pride Month looks radically different, as the COVID-19 pandemic has canceled in-person parades and events to mitigate the spread of the disease. California is home to nearly 15% (1.7 million) of all LGBT adults in the United States, and a new UCLA study has found that more than 200,000 LGBT adults in California are at high risk for COVID-19 illness.
In the two new reports produced by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law which extracts data from the FSPH UCLA Center for Health Policy Research’s California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), researchers found that LGBT adults in California are significantly at risk for health and economic harm due to COVID-19. Among those risks, more than 200,00 LGBT people in California have one or more high-risk medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or HIV; 612,000 were living below 200% of the federal poverty level prior to the pandemic; and 134,000 do not have health insurance. Additional health factors include problems paying for medical bills and delaying or forgoing care because of cost or lack of insurance, and economic risks are related to factors such as poverty level, race/ethnicity, gender identity, housing, food security, and employment status.
The Fielding School's UCLA Center for Health Policy Research presents "Pride and Pandemic: Vulnerabilities to COVID-19 Among LGBT Adults in California," featuring Kathryn O’Neill, lead report author and policy fellow and analyst at the Williams Institute. O'Neill will share key report findings that describe the characteristics of the LGBT community in California with an emphasis on those factors which increase vulnerability to harm from the COVID-19 pandemic.