New Democracy Maps

COVID & the LGBTQI Movement in 2021: Results from the Q1 2021 COVID Pulse Survey

For more than a year, LGBTQI and allied movement organizations have navigated the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. For many organizations, this has meant shifting operations to a virtual format, offering programs online, and identifying and obtaining pandemic financial relief, all while continuing to serve LGBTQI people and advocating on their behalf. During the pandemic, MAP has frequently surveyed organizations, and reports released in September 2020 and January 2021 show the flexibility, creativity, and continued resilience of LGBTQI and allied organizations during 2020. Throughout 2021, MAP is continuing to survey organizations. This report presents the results from our first quarterly pulse survey of 2021, summarizing organizations’ experiences and reflections on 2020 and offering a first look at how organizations are doing in early 2021.

The 2021 Q1 survey shows that, while nearly all organizations reported negative impacts from the pandemic, 76% also reported positive impacts, such as shifting to remote work and reaching more people through online programs. However, the most commonly mentioned negative impact was the toll of the pandemic on staff’s mental health, highlighting the ongoing need to prioritize staff well-being such as through expanded benefits, pay, and sustainable workloads.
In the first quarter of 2021, organizations are generally confident and optimistic about most revenue streams, with the exception of in-person events. However, far fewer organizations have applied for the second round of the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding compared to the first round, due to changes in eligibility requirements. This highlights the important and urgent role of funders, foundations, individual donors, and state and local governments in supporting the ongoing work of LGBTQ organizations as they continue to provide needed programs and services amidst an evolving pandemic. 

Recommended citation: 
Movement Advancement Project. June 2021. COVID & the LGBTQI Movement in 2021: Results from the Q1 2021 COVID Pulse Survey.  Accessed [date of access].

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The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

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“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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