Loneliness and isolation were some of the most important issues for the community in 2020 and into 2021 as we continue to navigate COVID-19. Can you touch on your own experience and feelings over the last 12 months?
Darren: I live alone, so there were definitely some challenges for me, particularly around not having visitors for a large part of that time. I leant on the creative and ingenious people in the queer community who moved events and activities online to continue the important work of connecting our community, even if we couldn’t be together in person.
I was fortunate to be able to work throughout the lockdown. This really helped me to focus and maintain some sort of routine. I recognise my privilege in having a job during a time when so many people didn’t.
The feelings of isolation and loneliness are all too familiar to the LGBTIQ+ community – it’s something we’ve felt through our lives as we navigate the emotions of finding our true, authentic selves. 2020 brought us challenges as the physical connection to our community was taken away, including our safe spaces and venues.
But we are a strong and resilient community. We’ve faced many challenges before and I believe the collective power of our community can get us through anything.
Dempsey: I spent the majority of lockdown alone in Ulladulla NSW while my partner was in Queensland. We were unable to see each other for quite some time and had to stay connected over the phone. We were only reunited months later once the borders were opened.
This was really quite difficult for the most part, however we persevered, with the knowledge that eventually we would be together. I believe this has been the case for many of us within the community – and it is great that things are looking better each day!