Several studies suggest alcohol use is on the rise in the LGBTQ community during the pandemic, according to NBC News.
A survey of LGBTQ university students in the United States found 32% said they were drinking more since the pandemic began. A survey of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men found about one-third reported that their substance use or binge drinking had increased during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Drinking rates have risen in the wider population during the pandemic, but at a lower rate compared with the LGBTQ community, the article notes. In addition to the boredom, isolation and loneliness experienced by many Americans, LGBTQ people face additional challenges, experts told NBC News. These challenges include increased stress from social prejudice and discriminatory laws.
Moving home during the pandemic has been especially difficult for some LGBTQ students whose families don’t accept their gender identity or sexuality, said Barrett Scroggs, an assistant professor of human development and family studies at Pennsylvania State University Mont Alto. “These emerging adults are folks who might be leaving their college dorm where they’re very comfortable, open and out. Then they return home to a house where they have to go back in the closet or maybe have to be with somebody who is homophobic, biphobic or transphobic,” Scroggs said.