COVID-19 and the UAlbany LGBTQ+ Community
The LGBTQ+ Advisory Council has put together this resource guide to help our LGBTQ+ students, faculty and staff deal with the COVID-19 crisis. For the latest information about the University response and resources, please consult the University's COVID-19 website.
Vulnerability of LGBTQ+ people
The LGBTQ+ community is more vulnerable to COVID-19 and its associated challenges. Factors that increase the risk to LGBTQ+ people include:
- Higher rates of exacerbating health conditions (for example: smoking, asthma, HIV and cancer)
- Higher rates of poverty
- Less supportive environments
- Greater isolation, mental-health distress and suicide rates
- Greater hurdles to seeking healthcare and basic-needs services
Information and Resources for Students
Please let the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center know if you are having hardships or need help accessing basic needs via the LGBTQ+ Student Needs Form. You may also contact the Dean of Students office directly for help.
The LGBTQ+ Advisory Council works with offices across campus to address LGBTQ+ student concerns. If you have questions and concerns, you may voice these — with an option to remain anonymous — using the form at the bottom of our homepage.
On-campus housing may be the only safe, supportive home that LGBTQ+ students have. A number of students have expressed fear that they will get kicked off campus. That will not happen.
If you have a question or concern about living on campus during these times, please contact the Office of Residential Life.
Helping students meet basic needs is a campus priority. Addressing these needs for LGBTQ+ students in a compassionate, inclusive, and respectful way is important.
If you need food, the Purple Pantry is accessible at the University Police Department lobby with your university ID.
If you need funds for eligible urgent expenses, you can request funds through the UAlbany Student Emergency Fund.
LGBTQ+ students may not have access to computers, high-speed internet and/or software needed to complete coursework and other scholarly activities.
If the lack of, or outdatedness of, your technology is hindering your work, please contact the Dean of Students Office at [email protected] or 518-442-5501. University staff can recommend solutions or help you access the technology you need.
LGBTQ+ individuals encounter more hurdles to seeking healthcare services, which result in more negative health outcomes.
If you have non-emergency health questions and concerns, Student Health Services is open virtually and providing telemedicine appointments. Their mission is to provide “compassionate, student-centered, quality health care, which is inclusive and respects the uniqueness of each individual.”
Feelings of stress, isolation, depression, anxiety and fear can be amplified for LGBTQ+ students, who already suffer a higher degree of emotional distress.
If you are in emotional distress, there are a number of resources that can help you manage these negative emotions.
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) staff are available virtually and in-person for individual sessions. There is also an LGBTQ+ Virtual Empowerment Support Group. Lastly, CAPS has published these useful tips and resources for Maintaining Mental Health during COVID-19.
The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) and Office of Intercultural Student Engagement are setting up online community and resilience services for LGBTQ+ students. Follow GSRC on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and sign up for the GSRC newsletter for the latest information.
The Pride Center of the Capital Region is also offering virtual support groups.
Information and Resources for Faculty/Staff
The LGBTQ+ Advisory Council works with campus leaders to address LGBTQ+ faculty and staff concerns. If you have questions and concerns, you may voice these — with an option to remain anonymous — using the form at the bottom of our homepage.
Creating inclusive and respectful online spaces is important in learning management systems to encourage positive learning outcomes. We encourage instructors to think about how they can increase inclusivity in online platforms, such as Blackboard and Zoom.
Courtney D'Allaird — the founding coordinator of UAlbany's Gender & Sexuality Resource Center — created a video, entitled "5 ways to support LGBTQ+ students in online learning," that provides some helpful tips.
Be mindful of privacy, especially if sensitive topics or personal information are shared in your class. If you are publishing recordings, transcripts or chat logs of your classes, make sure access is restricted to only your class by using Ensemble and Blackboard, for example. These privacy considerations should be communicated to teaching assistants and substitute instructors.
LGBTQ+ faculty and staff experience a number of concerns related to basic needs, health and emotional support. If you are in need of personal support, the Employee Assistance Program’s Personal Assessment and Referral Program can provide you with free, confidential assistance.
LGBTQ+ families also face additional challenges. Family Equality has put together a Virtual Hub for LGBTQ+ Families to provide ideas and activities to help support you and your family.
The LGBTQ+ Advisory Council is working with UUP and other campus units to organize virtual LGBTQ+ coffee hours, so we can stay in touch with one another. Announcements will be sent via e-mail.
Other Information and Resources
Interim Guidance for COVID-19 and Persons with HIV from the National Institutes of Health
Know Your Rights Guide for Transgender People Navigating COVID-19 from the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund
What Trans People Need to Know About COVID-19 from the National Center for Transgender Equality
Sex and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Fact Sheet from the NYC Health Department
Questions and comments about this guide may be directed to Brian Tang ([email protected]), a co-chair of the LGBTQ+ Advisory Council.
This page will be updated with additional information and resources as they become available. We will get through this together.
We acknowledge the Ithaca College Center for LGBT Education, Outreach and Services as a valuable source of information for this guide.