The Gate and LGBT Foundation create ‘Locked Down and Out’

To raise awareness of the challenges that many in LGBT communities have experienced as a result of the pandemic, The Gate London has partnered with UK national charity the LGBT Foundation to launch “Locked Down and Out.”

Launched during Pride month 2020, the campaign follows the experience of a young trans girl who is caught wearing make-up by her intolerant mother. Produced in partnership with Friend, and directed by Lucrecia Toarmina, the film stars trans actress Miya Ocego.

The launch of “Locked Down and Out” follows shocking research published by the LGBT Foundation revealing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdown on LGBT communities. The research uncovered the profound effects of the pandemic on LGBT people, in areas such as mental health; isolation; substance misuse; eating disorders; living in unsafe environments; financial impact; homelessness; access to healthcare; and access to support.

Key findings include:

  • 8% do not feel safe where they are currently staying
  • 42% would like to access support for their mental health at this time
  • 18% were concerned that this situation would lead to substance or alcohol misuse or trigger a relapse.

LGBT Foundation has reported significant spikes in calls to their crisis helpline since the beginning of lockdown, with mental health difficulties, hate crime being isolated with LGBT-phobic family members being key issues. Referrals to their domestic abuse and substance misuse services have also risen sharply over the last three months, with domestic abuse related calls over doubling in the last month alone and calls around suicidal ideation increasing by 25%.

The increased need for support for LGBT Foundation’s services has seen the charity increasingly stretched to meet demand, and like many other LGBT organisations – the Foundation been financially hit by the difficult economic period, and cancellation of key fundraising events such as Prides.

Paul Martin OBE, Chief Executive of LGBT Foundation, says:

“With Locked Down and Out, we’re hoping to shine a light on the experiences of LGBT people and the impact that the pandemic is having on their lives. Perhaps the starkest figure is that 8% of LGBT people do not feel safe where they are currently staying. This includes 9% of BAME LGBT people, 15% of disabled LGBT people, 17% of trans people and 17% of non-binary people. To think about how many people that must encompass, and what every single one of these people must be going through right now, is truly heartbreaking.

I hope that after seeing this film any LGBT person out there watching knows that life may be incredibly difficult right now, and it may seem like life will be difficult for a long time to come, but there is support out there and we’ll always be here to listen if you need us. With your support we can continue to offer vital services including our helpline, to those most in need.”

John Osborne and Rickie Marsden, Creatives at The Gate, says:

“Not all issues caused by COVID-19 make the news. We kept hearing stories of fellow queer people struggling with more hate crimes, intolerant households and gender reassignment treatments being deemed “non-essential”. We wanted to put a spotlight on this – especially during Pride Month – and help support much-needed charities like LGBT Foundation for the hard work they do.

Thankfully, the great people at Friend shared our sentiments and we’re so grateful for everyone who pitched in to help bring the project to life during lockdown.”

LGBT Foundation is fundraising to enable them to continue to be there for every LGBT person in crisis who needs them. A donation of just £5 could help them run an online group for isolated LGBT people, providing them with solidarity and support, of £10 could help them answer a call to their helpline from an LGBT person with nowhere else to turn, so we can listen and provide support  to a person at a point of crisis, and £20 could help one of their specialist domestic abuse team deliver a wellbeing assessment to an LGBT person in need to move that individual forward. For full details of the fundraiser click here

To find out more about LGBT Foundation, how to support the work they do, and to read the full research report, click here.