Questions about and calls for COVID-19 data about racial communities in B.C. have been raised during the pandemic. But little, if any, issues have been raised about LGBT+ populations in B.C. during weekly B.C. briefings.
That's despite the fact that queer communities have extensive experience and a deeply rooted history of having had to contend with and address the impact that pandemics wreak—having endured the devastation of the AIDS Crisis and the HIV pandemic.
There have been some national efforts to collect information about how the pandemic is affecting LGBT+ Canadians, including the Sex Now Survey (for men who have sex with men) by Vancouver’s Community Based Research Centre launched in August 2020 and online survey results released by Egale Canada in April 2020, which found LGBT+ people were more impacted by the pandemic than many other Canadians.
One of the latest initiatives to find out how LGBT+ Canadians are doing during the pandemic comes from the Tegan and Sara Foundation.
The foundation, launched by Vancouver-based queer music duo Tegan and Sara Quin to improve the lives of LGBT+ women and girls, is conducting the survey to focus on an aspect of the pandemic that differs from past surveys: the vaccine rollout.
“As advocates, we have focused on healthcare because we see how access to quality and affirming care affects our community,” Tegan and Sara state on the foundation website. “Most studies aren’t asking queer people the questions that we need to get better care.”
The survey, which was launched on the International Transgender Day of Visibility (March 31), was developed with health communications firm Entree Health, included input from LGBT+ healthcare experts and physicians, and with review conducted by Survey Monkey researchers.
All LGBT+ people in Canada and the U.S. are invited to participate. More information is available at the Tegan and Sara Foundation website.