Jessie  Gutierrez

Accessing the Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Mental Health of Transgender and Non-Binary People of Color

Most of the research on health disparities in the transgender and gender non-binary (TGNB) community encompass outcomes of mental health. These pre-pandemic studies have found that there are high rates of depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and self-injury within the TGNB community. The research also finds that the community has distinct healthcare needs from that of the general population. Some TGNB individuals choose to utilize hormonal treatment and/or undergo gender-affirming surgery/surgeries to address their gender dysphoria and feel more attuned to their gender identity. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many social changes and regulations (stay-at-home orders, social distancing, stress on the healthcare system, unemployment levels, etc.) that have had some consequential effects on TGNB individuals. Yet, there are limited scholarly articles that focus on the virus as it relates to the mental health effects of TGNB individuals in the U.S.

The objective of this qualitative study is to examine how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental health of TGNB people of color – an understudied and underrepresented community before the pandemic. The proposed research aims to examine the prevalent reasons related to changes in the mental health of TGNB people of color during the pandemic.