New Hornet Study Finds Many Gay Men Feel Unsafe and Are Struggling at Home During Quarantine
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According to a recently conducted survey of Hornet users, many gay men feel unsafe at home and are struggling with anxiety and isolation during the Coronavirus pandemic. A third of the Hornet users surveyed have said they are struggling in quarantine, offering interesting insight into the LGBTQ experience during this current pandemic — and hopefully a strategy for the path forward.
A global pandemic — of which COVID-19 is not the first to gravely impact the LGBTQ community — tends to disproportionately affect LGBTQ people, who find themselves more vulnerable to discrimination, violence, economic hardship, housing insecurity and mental health concerns.
The Hornet survey conducted here is part of a larger continuing project, and it saw nearly 3,500 users respond from around the world, predominantly Brazil, Russia, France, Turkey, Indonesia, and the United States.
Nearly half of these Hornet users reported feeling a little anxious since the COVID-19 crisis began, and nearly one-third of them reported feeling very anxious. More than half of the guys who participated said they feel either a little lonely or very lonely. A third of these Hornet users said they feel physically and/or emotionally unsafe in their current living environment, and 70% said Hornet has helped ease their loneliness during the crisis, albeit as a tool for digital connection as opposed to facilitating in-person meetups. (Find more data on Hornet’s survey results here.)
It’s unfortunate that while the phrase “safe at home” has been thrown about during this time of global self-quarantine, it’s simply not the case for all LGBTQ people. “The very shelter that is meant to be a place of protection is unsafe for many LGBT people,” says Alex Garner, Hornet’s Senior Health Strategist, a nod to the many openly queer young people who find themselves at home with disapproving and sometimes homophobic parents.
“While our community of users report staying in during the Coronavirus crisis, they also report feeling more anxious and lonely,” Garner says. “We have the opportunity to prioritize the mental health of our communities. Online social networks can foster a greater sense of connection and our shared experience around this pandemic can help strengthen our communities even while physically distant.”
Digital technology, including the gay social network Hornet provides to its users, can act as a lifeline for many people who may be living in hostile environments — both at home and in nations with poor track records for LGBTQ rights. Hornet will do its part to continue helping queer men stay connected and contribute to the global LGBTQ community.