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One-third of LGBTQ college students experienced housing disruption during pandemic

LGBTQ students were more than twice as likely to have lost student housing than non-LGBTQ students

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Photo Credit: UCLA

LOS ANGELES – A new study from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law conducted in collaboration with the Point Foundation, the nation’s largest LGBTQ scholarship fund, finds that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the educational opportunities, financial security, and housing stability of many college students in the U.S., including an estimated 3.4 million LGBTQ students ages 18-40.

Using data from the Access to Higher Education Survey, a nationally representative sample of adults ages 18 to 40 conducted in January and February 2021, researchers examined the experiences of LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ students and those who planned to be students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results show that over a third (39%) of all students, and nearly two-thirds (65%) of transgender students, reported that their ability to pursue their studies was worse than before the pandemic. One-third (33%) of all students experienced a financial disruption, such as loss of financial aid, jobs, internships, or financial support from family, or needing to get a job.

“The economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionally impacted people of color and LGBTQ people. It could have a long-term effect on the ability of marginalized populations to pursue higher education,” said study author Kathryn O’Neill, Policy Analyst at the Williams Institute.

In addition, LGBTQ students were more than twice as likely to have lost student housing than non-LGBTQ students (15% vs 6%, respectively). Nearly half of LGBTQ students who moved home during the pandemic were not out to their families about their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Living with parents can be challenging for LGBTQ students who are not out to their family or whose families are not accepting of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Jorge Valencia, Point Foundation’s Executive Director and CEO. “When preparing policies to address future emergencies, colleges and universities should consider that LGBTQ students may not have a safe and supportive place to go.”

ADDITIONAL FINDINGS


Illness

  • About one in five (20%) LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ students had a family member become seriously ill or hospitalized with COVID-19.
    • Over a quarter (28%) of LGBTQ students of color and 23% of non-LGBTQ students of color reported that a family member had been seriously ill with COVID.

Ability to Pursue Studies

  • 23% of all students experienced course disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including taking a leave of absence, changing schools, postponing starting school, or reducing the number of classes.
  • More than one in ten (12%) LGBTQ and non-LGBTQ students have had to take care of children or other family members during this pandemic.
  • 10% of LGBTQ students and 3% of non-LGBTQ students reported that they did not have reliable internet and a quiet space to complete online instruction.
    • One in three (31%) transgender students did not have reliable internet, compared to 5% of cisgender students.

Housing Disruptions

  • 31% of LGBTQ students experienced a housing disruption due to the pandemic compared to 17% of their non-LGBTQ counterparts.
  • Before the pandemic, LGBTQ students were more than three times as likely to report choosing a school in a different city or state from where they grew up to get away from family as non-LGBTQ students (30% vs. 9%, respectively).

Financial Disruptions

  • LGBTQ students were twice as likely as their non-LGBTQ counterparts to have lost financial aid (6% vs 3%, respectively).
  • 14% of LGBTQ students reported losing an internship, fellowship, or job, compared to 6% of non-LGBTQ students.

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Health

285,000 American Indian and Alaskan Native LGBTQ+ adults live in the US

The new Williams Institute study revealed that more than half have been physically or sexually attacked in their lifetimes

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Ambroz Samuel, LGBTQ+ member of the Navajo Nation, Pinon, AZ in 2012 (Photo by Harrison J. Bahe)

LOS ANGELES – A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that the estimated 285,000 adults in the U.S. that identify as American Indian or Alaskan Native (AIAN) and LGBT report high rates of mental health concerns.

The study examines the demographics and well-being of AIAN adults, including separate findings for individuals who identify only as AIAN and those who identify as AIAN plus another race or ethnicity.

Results show that more than one-third (35%) of AIAN-only adults and 43% of AIAN-multiracial adults have been diagnosed with depression. AIAN women have the highest rates of depression, including more than half (51%) of AIAN-multiracial women.

In addition, researchers found that AIAN-multiracial LGBT people fare worse than their non-LGBT counterparts in many measures of economic and social vulnerability, including unemployment, income level, and food insecurity. All AIAN LGBT adults face disparities in physical health, such as asthma, heart attack, and other chronic health conditions.

“Economic insecurity and health status within the AIAN LGBT population may be related to factors that are unique to LGBT people and that are shared with the overall Indigenous communities,” said lead author Bianca D.M. Wilson, Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. “It is critical that policies and service interventions consider the LGBT status and multiracial identities of AIAN adults.”

KEY FINDINGS

Demographic Characteristics

  • There are an estimated 285,000 AIAN LGBT adults in the US. Approximately 6% of all AIAN-only adults in the country identify as LGBT.
  • The AIAN LGBT adult population is younger than their non-LGBT counterparts: 57% of AIAN-multiracial LGBT adults are under age 35, compared to 33% of non-LGBT adults.
  • More than 60% of AIAN LGBT adults in the U.S. live in the West and South.

Economic Characteristics

  • Over half (54%) of AIAN-only LGBT adults and 42% of AIAN-multiracial LGBT adults live in low-income households.
  • 41% of AIAN-multiracial LGBT adults report experiencing food insecurity, compared to 29% of non-LGBT adults.
  • Among AIAN-multiracial people, more LGBT adults are unemployed than non-LGBT adults (15% vs. 10%), and the difference is most pronounced among women (19% vs. 11%).

Mental and Physical Health

  • Among AIAN-only adults, 35% of LGBT people have been diagnosed with depression, compared to 23% of non-LGBT people.
  • Among AIAN-multiracial adults, 43% of LGBT people have been diagnosed with depression, compared to 25% of non-LGBT people.
  • One-quarter (25%) of AIAN LGBT adults are uninsured, compared to 20% of non-LGBT adults.
  • Nearly one-third (30%) of AIAN LGBT women with children are enrolled in Medicaid.

Discrimination and Stress

  • One in five (20%) AIAN LGBT adults disagreed with the statement “You always feel safe and secure,” compared to 14% of non-LGBT adults.
  • 57% of AIAN LGBT adults reported experiencing physical assault and threats, and 81% reported experiencing verbal assault or abuse at some point in their lives.

Social Support

  • The majority (55%) of AIAN cisgender LGB adults and 37% of AIAN transgender adults reported feeling connected to the LGBT community.
  • About three-quarters (75%) of AIAN LGBT adults reported feeling supported through their social circles.

This study is part of the Williams Institute’s LGBT Well-Being at the Intersection of Race series, which examines demographic characteristics and key indicators of well-being, including mental health, physical health, economic health, and social and cultural experiences, of different racial/ethnic groups in the U.S. The series also includes analyses by region.

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AIDS and HIV

$48 million earmarked for HRSA centers in effort to beat HIV/AIDS

“Community health centers are often a key point of entry to HIV prevention and treatment services, especially for underserved populations”

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The Hubert H. Humphrey Building, HHS headquarters Washington D.C. (Photo Credit: U.S. GSA)

WASHINGTON – The Biden administration has awarded more than $48 million in allocations earmarked to medical centers under Health Resources & Services Administration in localities with high incidents of HIV infection as part of the initiative to beat the disease.

Xavier Becerra, U. S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, in a statement said that the contributions are key component of the initiative, which is called “Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S.” and seeks to reduce new infections by 90 percent by 2030.

“HHS-supported community health centers are often a key point of entry to HIV prevention and treatment services, especially for underserved populations,” Becerra said. “I am proud of the role they play in providing critical services to 1.2 million Americans living with HIV. Today’s awards will ensure equitable access to services free from stigma and discrimination, while advancing the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2025.”

The $48 million in government spending allocations went to HRSA centers 71 HRSA-supported health centers across 26 states, Puerto Rico and D.C. — areas identified with the highest rates of HIV infections — to expand HIV prevention and treatment services, including access to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) as well as outreach and care coordination, according to HHS.

The Ending the HIV Epidemic was set up under the previous administration, which made PrEP a generic drug after an accelerated effort and set a goal of beating HIV by 2030. Biden has continued the project, after campaigning on beating HIV a full five years earlier in 2025. Observers, however, are skeptical he can meet that goal.

Diana Espinosa, acting administrator for the Health Resources and Services Administration, (HRSA) said in a statement the $48 million will go a long way in reaching goals to beat HIV/AIDS.

“We know our Health Center Program award recipients are well-positioned to advance the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. initiative, with a particular focus on facilitating access to PrEP, because of their integrated service delivery model,” Espinosa said. “By integrating HIV services into primary care, and providing essential enabling services like language access or case management, HRSA-supported health centers increase access to care and improve health outcomes for patients living with HIV.”

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Coronavirus

LA County requiring vax proof for indoor bars & nightclubs by Oct. 7

Participants and workers at outdoor “mega events” with more than 10,000 attendees must provide proof of vax or show a recent negative test

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Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that it will begin requiring verification of vaccination in select high-risk settings by October 7.

During a Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday, L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the supervisors that vaccine verification will be required for customers and employees at indoor portions of bars, wineries, breweries, night clubs, and lounges.

The modified Health Officer Order would require customers and employees at bars, breweries, wineries, night clubs and lounges to have at least one dose of the vaccine by October 7 and both doses by November 4.

Public Health will require vaccination verification or a negative test within 72 hours prior to attending outdoor mega events. Participants and workers at outdoor “mega events” with more than 10,000 attendees must provide proof of vax or show a recent negative test.

Attendees at indoor mega events are already required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result prior to entry. 

Los Angeles County Department of Public Health officials are prepared to move forward with the updated order later this week, Ferrer said.

“This modified health officer order aligns with the continued need to reduce risk for transmission and increase vaccination coverage,” Ferrer said. “This is a reasonable path forward that can position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges.”

She noted that while the health order won’t require it, Public Health will recommend that restaurants also begin verifying vaccination status for indoor dining.

“As evidence mounts affirming the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, vaccination mandates are an increasingly important tool to prevent future COVID surges that cause widespread suffering. The modified Health Officer Order aligns with the continued need to reduce risk for transmission and increase vaccination coverage; this is a reasonable path forward that can position us to be better able to break the cycle of surges,” Ferrer added.

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