LGBT+ Asian Americans warned of a ‘double whammy’ of homophobia and racism due to coronavirus bigotry

Asian American LGBT coronavirus COVID-19

LGBT+ Asian Americans are reportedly experiencing a horrific “double whammy” of homophobia and racism due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As the coronavirus spreads across the world, many Asian people are facing discrimination and racism from people who ignorantly and wrongly assume that they are harbingers of infection.

The situation is dire in the United States, where Donald Trump has repeatedly drummed up anti-Asian sentiment by referring to the coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus” (the outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China).

But the outlook is even more hopeless for Asian Americans who are also LGBT+, as they are facing an increase in racism and homophobia during this time.

Those who ‘live in the intersections’ are most likely to be targeted by hate.

Hieu Nguyen, founder of the Viet Rainbow of Orange County, told Vice. that being LGBT+ and Asian during the coronavirus pandemic is a “double whammy”.

“When you’re LGBTQ and an ethnic minority, there’s already a sense of not feeling safe in the environment that you’re in,” Nguyen said.

“It just adds a heightened level of anxiety for folks, and it challenges their sense of safety.”

Between March 19 and April 3, Stop AAPI Hate recorded 1,100 complaints of hate incidents from the Asian American community.

While the entire Asian American population is facing discrimination, a number of groups have warned that LGBT+ Asian Americans are at a particular disadvantage.

Cynthia Choi, co-executive director for Chinese for Affirmative Action, said those who are most likely to be targeted are people “who live in the intersections”.

“Those who were already vulnerable — whether you’re an immigrant, undocumented, or because of your gender identity and sexuality — the pandemic has amplified that, Choi told Vice.

Those who were suffering before the pandemic, their situation is worse off.

Meanwhile, NQAPIA executive director Glenn Magpantay said LGBT+ Asian Americans “have experienced an uptick in racism and discrimination as a result of COVID-19.”

“The ignorance has come to bear on our community. It’s enormously challenging and difficult,” Magpantay said.