Survey: Covid Impact for LGBTQ + Canadians
2020-10-26 • Montéal
The team at the Center on Sex*Gender, Allostasis and Resilience (CESAR), led by Dr. Robert-Paul Juster, is looking to better understand how the sex, gender and sexual orientation of individuals affect their adaptation to the COVID-19 crisis. In addition to being a threat to the health of individuals, this pandemic has the potential to exacerbate certain inequalities that exist between men, women and sexual and gender minorities. LGBTQ + Canadians are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of social isolation. They are twice as likely to live alone as heterosexual Canadians, and they are at high risk for anxiety, depression, suicidal behavior, self-harm and substance abuse. (Meyer, 2003; Gonzales & Henning, 2017)
Through an anonymous and confidential online questionnaire, we hope to identify the challenges experienced by this community during the pandemic, but also the resilience factors that protect them from harmful consequences on their mental health. We predict that LGBTQ + people will be more vulnerable to heightened mental health problems during the current crisis. We also predict that within this community, some sub-groups who have lived experiences of stigma and adversity will adopt coping behaviors that promote resilience, and will therefore present favorable mental health outcomes. This would be explained by a concept called crisis competence. Crisis competence refers to how marginalized groups are sometimes forced to learn the “ability to manage crisis-type events” (Morrow, 2001). A telling example of this concept is the reality of gay men who experienced the HIV / AIDS crisis in the 1980s, and who are now experiencing the COVID-19 crisis. It will be fascinating to examine whether crisis competence plays a role in promoting resilience in certain LGBTQ+ sub-groups.