The experiences of UK LGBT+ communities during the COVID-19 pandemic

Download PDF
Facemask with lgbtplus flag

About the study 

The National Centre for Social Research, with the support of Consortium, Intercom Trust, LGBT Foundation and Stonewall, is undertaking research to better understand what support can be provided to the UK LGBT+ voluntary and community sector to address the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

This report is the first output from the project and provides a synthesis of existing evidence on the experiences of UK LGBT+ communities.


  • The evidence base on UK LGBT+ communities’ experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic is methodologically limited, with a distinct lack of statistically representative, comparative research.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on the mental health of LGBT+ people living in the UK. This includes increased anxiety and depression, as well as feelings of isolation and loneliness through the loss of safe, supportive, and identity-affirming peer-groups, communities and spaces.
  • The mental health of younger LGBT+ people been particularly negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in part attributed to younger LGBT+ people feeling the most unable to connect with those outside of their household during the pandemic.
  • The mental health of trans people has also been disproportionately negatively affected by the pandemic. This is attributed to the disruption of gender-affirming care and exacerbated experiences of gender dysphoria, in addition to heightened experiences of depression, anxiety and loneliness during lockdown(s).
  • LGBT+ people prefer to receive support from LGBT+ services during the pandemic. This is attributed to feeling better understood and better treated when compared to engaging with non-LGBT specific services.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant financial impact on LGBT+ services, with a loss of earned income/donations, and a loss of income via contract services/grant funding; all of which jeopardise LGBT+ services’ long-term survival.
  • There are significant evidence gaps on the experiences of LGBT+ people during the pandemic. In particular, there is a need to explore the experiences of LGBT+ people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and LGBT+ people of colour, as well as LGBT+ disabled people.


The methodology comprises of two parts: a rapid evidence assessment (REA), and analysis of survey data collected by Intercom Trust, LGBT Foundation and Stonewall during April and June 2020.