There’s increasing momentum nationwide to collect COVID-19 demographic data for sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI), but New Jersey is already falling behind.
Just this week, Pennsylvania Governor Wolfe announced his state will begin collecting SOGI data, and four other states are advancing similar policies.
Like all marginalized communities, LGBTQ are disproportionately impacted by health disparities and discrimination in healthcare, making our community more vulnerable to COVID-19, but to enable effective, targeted distribution of state resources and funding, we need data!
Our state is already tracking the health disparities among people of color and the barriers to care they face in this pandemic, and sadly, LGBTQ are victims of the same forces of discrimination. For LGBTQ people of color, the risk of COVID-19 is only magnified.
With our state at the epicenter of the pandemic, we have no time to waste.
It's time for sexual orientation and gender identity data collection in New Jersey.
Bianca Mayes, MPH, CHES
Health & Wellness Coordinator
Garden State Equality