New HRC Video Features LGBTQ Business Owner: “The Leadership Has Failed People Like Me”

by Wyatt Ronan

Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is launching its second video in a weekly series on Trump’s failure to keep LGBTQ people safe. Today’s installment highlights the disproportionate economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on LGBTQ people in the United States. As of today, the United States has contracted upwards of 7.8 million cases of COVID-19, with nearly 216,000 Americans having died from the disease so far. While the U.S. makes up 4% of the world’s population, we are responsible for 20% of COVID-19 deaths worldwide. Economists warn that we are likely to see new “economic scarring” in Q4 after signs of recovery over the summer.

The video highlights how the Trump-Pence administration's mishandling of this pandemic have forced businesses to close and people to lose jobs, hurting LGBTQ people at a greater clip than the general population, while the Biden-Harris ticket has a plan to deal with the pandemic and deliver economic security to LGBTQ people and bring the country out of this crisis.

“Being a chef, owner of a restaurant is kind of like a rollercoaster ride, and that’s what the pandemic feels like right now,” said Barrio Cafe Chef and Owner Silvana Salcido Esparza. “I had 43 employees and 2 restaurants. Any financial relief or support is not coming our way, so we’re pretty much left with one faltering restaurant, but quite frankly, it’s on a respirator. I have 10 employees left. You’re looking at an award-winning chef — leader in what she does. And yet, I’m sitting there looking at zero money in my account, hoping that last night’s sales get to the bank before the checks I wrote. You know, the leadership has failed people like me. For every step forward we had take, 5 back. And one thing COVID did is put a magnifying glass on a broken system. It’s making people that normally wouldn’t be involved be involved. People are paying attention, because that’s truth whether it offends you or compels you, and if it compels you, please vote. I’m voting for Joe Biden.”

The Trump-Pence administration’s failed response to the pandemic has hit LGBTQ people harder than most, due not just to the economic impact on businesses but in the reopening process as well.

LGBTQ people are more likely to have experienced a cut in work hours, are more likely to feel their personal finances are in worse shape due to the pandemic, and are more likely to be taking steps to actively prepare for the virus. They are also more likely to trust public health officials and are less likely to trust President Trump’s leadership. See the full report here.

  • 30% of LGBTQ respondents have had their work hours reduced, compared to 22% of the general population
  • 20% of LGBTQ people say their personal finances are “much worse off” than they were a year ago, compared to only 11% of the general population
  • 42% of LGBTQ people have adjusted their household budgets, compared to 30% of the general population
  • 56% of LGBTQ people trust the World Health Organization (WHO) compared to 35% of the general population and 55% trust the CDC, compared to 46% of the general population.
  • Only 14% trust President Trump as a source of information, compared to 22% of the general population

While some states are reopening their economies, many states are pausing and reversing their policies because of the ongoing threat of the coronavirus. Even as some states begin initial phases of reopening, however, LGBTQ people are still more likely than the general population to be experiencing higher unemployment rates, are more likely to report having their work hours reduced and, for those who are returning to work, are more likely to be working for less pay. See the full report here.

  • The number of people in the general population who are taking pay cuts increased by 14% from when the economy was closed to when some states initiated reopening policies:
  • The LGBTQ population experienced a 20% increase in taking pay cuts.
  • LGBTQ people of color experienced a 54% increase in taking pay cuts.
  • Furthermore, LGBTQ people are 50% more likely and LGBTQ people of color are 150% more likely than the general population to have taken a pay cut since some states initiated reopening policies.
  • The LGBTQ population is 20% more likely than the general population to have experienced a reduction in work hours since some states initiated reopening policies.
  • Moreover, LGBTQ people of color are 44% more likely and transgender people are 125% more likely than the general population to have had a reduction in work hours since some states initiated reopening policies.
  • The LGBTQ population is 30% more likely than the general population to have lost their jobs since some states initiated reopening policies due to COVID-19.

Future videos will focus on Trump’s undermining of LGBTQ people’s health care security and the safety of LGBTQ children. HRC’s video series aims to help Americans understand the extent to which LGBTQ people suffer the disproportionate impact of President Trump’s reckless and dangerous rhetoric and policies.

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To make a general inquiry, please visit our contact page. Members of the media can reach our press office at: (202) 572-8968 or email press@hrc.org.

Topics:
2020 Elections