QueerCOVIDTO is a study of the mental health of sexual and gender minority people living in Toronto during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Our survey and semi-structured interviews invite self-identified 2SLGBTQIA+ (2 Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Agender) people to help us document and understand their mental health experiences in the context of social isolation, social distancing, and other mandated safety measures.

Research indicates that communities and people of gender and sexual diversities disproportionately experience a range of stresses, including isolation, higher rates of experiences of homelessness and houselessness, and other profound psychological challenges. For many 2SLGBTQIA+ people, intersecting forms of social marginalization and oppression exacerbate these challenges. Our research will boost our understanding of these challenges–and people’s responses to them–by focusing on the shared and disparate experiences of queer and trans people during a time of immense social and economic uncertainty. Inevitably, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all communities around the globe; our research will help ensure that government and public responses to the COVID-19 pandemic consider and reflect the specific needs of 2SLGBTQIA+ people living in Toronto.

 

We have a few specific aims:

  • document the impact of public health measures (for example, social distancing and self-isolation) on 2SLGBTQIA+ mental health and well-being;
  • identify how 2SLGBTQIA+ people experience current government and public health responses to COVID-19;
  • document 2SLGBTQIA+ people’s knowledge, practices, concerns, and resilience around COVID-19;
  • explore socioeconomic factors shaping 2SLGBTQIA+ mental health and well-being during the COVID-19 crisis;
  • recognize differences and variations  among SGM communities’ experiences of COVID-19; and
  • raise awareness among (and issue a call to action to) policymakers and health service sectors regarding 2SLGBTQIA+ health and socioeconomic concerns.

 

QueerCOVIDTO is grateful for financial support from the Toronto COVID-19 Action Initiative (Grant #508850), University of Toronto Scarborough and University of Toronto.