LGBTIQ+ COMMUNITIES AND COVID-19: A report on the impacts of COVID-19 on Australian LGBTIQ+ communities and building a strong response

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This resource is relevant to humanitarian and development practitioners as well as policy makers, service providers and law enforcement officials because it provides much-needed insight into the immediate and long-term concerns of the diverse SOGIESC community in Australia. Not only are these insights and principles for inclusive practice relevant for practitioners in Australia during this pandemic, but they should be considered by practitioners globally--and are principles that are relevant outside of pandemics.

This report is on the experiences, concerns and needs of LGBTIQ+ people during the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic and response in Australia. This report draws together the findings from a 26 March 2020 workshop with 42 LGBTIQ+ and allied organisations as well as subsequent input. The report notes that LGBTIQ+ people, communities and organisations are resilient, resourceful and creative, but that there is an urgent need for the government and service providers to act in solidarity with the LGBTIQ+ community.

The report opens with a brief overview of the consultation before delving into fundamental principles for an inclusive COVID-19 response and recovery plan. There are a total of four principles that touch on economic stimulus and general government response. The report then goes into greater depth on the immediate issues faced by the LGBTIQ+ community. These issues include mental health concerns, discrimination in medical settings, access to information, social isolation and dislocation, family violence against LGBTIQ+ people, and considering the intersectional needs of LGBTIQ+ people who are also disabled and elderly. An important note around the need to continue to develop and pass progressive legislation, as well as critically consider the increasing role of law enforcement in the lives of Australians, is also included.

A section on medium and long-term issues follows. This focuses on the predicted financial disadvantage for the LGBTIQ+ community–especially for those in the arts, tourism, retail and hospitality–the absence of reliable data, and the viability of LGBTIQ+ organisations in the absence of events.

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"There are very few LGBTIQ+ organisations, businesses and venues in Australia. These are importance cultural and commercial institutions that provide a place for connection, support, pride and community...they are our community's town halls and squares, our places of congregation, and our cultural and sporting gathering grounds."

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This report is on the experiences, concerns and needs of LGBTIQ+ people during the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic and response in Australia. This report draws together the findings from a 26 March 2020 workshop with 42 LGBTIQ+ and allied organisations as well as subsequent input. The report notes that LGBTIQ+ people, communities and organisations are resilient, resourceful and creative, but that there is an urgent need for the government and service providers to act in solidarity with the LGBTIQ+ community.

The report opens with a brief overview of the consultation before delving into fundamental principles for an inclusive COVID-19 response and recovery plan. There are a total of four principles that touch on economic stimulus and general government response. The report then goes into greater depth on the immediate issues faced by the LGBTIQ+ community. These issues include mental health concerns, discrimination in medical settings, access to information, social isolation and dislocation, family violence against LGBTIQ+ people, and considering the intersectional needs of LGBTIQ+ people who are also disabled and elderly. An important note around the need to continue to develop and pass progressive legislation, as well as critically consider the increasing role of law enforcement in the lives of Australians, is also included.

A section on medium and long-term issues follows. This focuses on the predicted financial disadvantage for the LGBTIQ+ community–especially for those in the arts, tourism, retail and hospitality–the absence of reliable data, and the viability of LGBTIQ+ organisations in the absence of events.