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Brazil’s job fall guy: LGBT

21.6% of the surveyed LGBT+ citizens of the country report being unemployed
Participants at the “Taiwan Pride March for the World!” at Liberty Square on Sunday.

Reuters   |   Rio de Janeiro   |   Published 29.06.20, 02:40 AM

One in four unemployed gay and trans Brazilians has lost their job recently during the coronavirus outbreak, a survey released on Sunday found, showing the joblessness among LGBT+ Brazilians almost double the nation’s overall rate.

Four in 10 LGBT+ people, and more than half of transgender people, said they would not be able to survive without income for more than a month, according to the survey from advocacy group #VoteLGBT.

As Brazil emerges as one of the globe’s coronavirus hotspots, LGBT+ residents especially are vulnerable as they struggle with issues of health care, work and income, the research said.

Brazil’s unemployment rate rose to 12.6 per cent in the three months to April, the highest in over a year, with nearly 5 million people leaving the workforce. Official unemployment data for May will be released this week.

But LGBT+ Brazilians reported an unemployment rate of 21.6 per cent, according to the #VoteLGBT survey.

The actual figure is likely higher because the numbers were drawn from an online survey, said Fernanda De Lena, a demographer and #VoteLGBT member.

“People without an electronic device to answer the questionnaire are not being counted,” she said. “So the number of unemployed is likely underestimated.”

The survey also found near unanimous criticism by gay and trans Brazilians of the handling of the crisis by President Jair Bolsonaro, well-known for making homophobic comments. Nearly 99 per cent said his performance was “bad or terrible”, it found.

In Brazil, despite a number of recent advancements on LGBT+ rights, including a 2019 Supreme Court ruling outlawing homophobia and transphobia, gay and trans people face societal prejudice and widespread violence.

This year, 89 trans people were murdered in Brazil, according to a report this week from advocacy group ANTRA, a 39 per cent increase on the first six months of 2019. 

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