Gay & Trans Brazilians Pummelled BY COVID-19

One in four unemployed gay and trans Brazilians has lost their job recently due to Covid-19.

A new survey released showed joblessness among LGBT+ Brazilians almost double the nation’s overall rate. 

Four in 10 LGBT+ people, and more than half of transgender people, said they would not be able to survive without income for more than a month, according to the survey from advocacy group #VoteLGBT. 

As Brazil emerges as one of the globe’s coronavirus hotspots, LGBT+ residents especially are vulnerable as they struggle with issues of health care, work and income, the research said. 

Brazil has registered more than 1.2 million cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began, among the highest in the world, with deaths of about 55,000, according to the Health Ministry. 

Its unemployment rate rose to 12.6% in the three months to April, the highest in over a year, with nearly 5 million people leaving the workforce. Official unemployment data for May will be released this week. 

But LGBT+ Brazilians reported an unemployment rate of 21.6%, according to the #VoteLGBT survey. 

The actual figure is likely higher because the numbers were drawn from an online survey, said Fernanda De Lena, a demographer and #VoteLGBT member. 

“People without an electronic device to answer the questionnaire are not being counted,” she said. “So the number of unemployed is likely underestimated.” 

The survey also found near unanimous criticism by gay and trans Brazilians of the handling of the crisis by President Jair Bolsonaro, well-known for making homophobic comments. 

Nearly 99% said his performance was “bad or terrible,” it found. 

Bolsonaro, nicknamed the Tropical Trump, has been widely criticsed for the ways he has dealt with the crisis, shunning social distancing measures and promoting anti-malarial drugs as remedies with little evidence.

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