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Fencing coach makes plea to LGBTQ+ community on COVID vaccine

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Posted at 7:10 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 19:10:49-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Last month, Governor Andy Beshear shared on Twitter a video from the Fairness Campaign that featured Dawn Wilson, a coach at the Louisville Fencing Center, speaking about the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

In the video, Wilson, who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community, drew parallels between the AIDS epidemic and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I used to do testing for folks who were HIV positive," she said in the video. "And I can tell you, that was a plague. If you fast forward to what we're going through today, everybody who either grew up with that or they are part of the community, they know what that devastation is like."

According to a report released by the Human Rights Foundation in March 2021, data showed that "LGBTQ+ adults overall said they are 'very likely' to get the COVID-19 vaccine (42%) in higher rates compared to the general adult population (39%)."

But the data across LGBTQ+ populations were more nuanced.

The report found that only 29% of Black LGBTQ+ adults said that they were "very likely" to get vaccinated against COVID-19 versus 47% of white adults who have similar feelings.

When asked to respond to those statistics during a Zoom interview Thursday, Wilson said she is sadly not surprised, citing the systemic racism and biases in healthcare.

"I know for a fact that a lot of Black Trans women will not go to a doctor because of the fact that the doctor stands on the other side of the room from them and won't touch them," Wilson shared. "And they're like 'I don't need this.'"

But with the Delta variant spreading, Wilson is urging people who are unvaccinated to put their faith in science, roll up their sleeves to get vaccinated and help put an end to the suffering.