31 March 2020
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Visibility of Trans People Even More Important Under COVID-19
This year’s Transgender Day of Visibility, marked annually on March 31 to build awareness about the discrimination trans people face across the world and celebrate trans people’s bravery and contribution to society, falls in the midst of a global health crisis as countries across the world battle the growing outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this period marked by keeping physical distancing and lockdown, with public events canceled all over the world, and countries turning inward to curb the spread of the virus, visibility is incredibly challenging to achieve. But it is also ever more important.
Trans people remain among the most vulnerable, attacked and marginalized groups in society, with limited to no access to legal gender recognition procedures across the world, facing disproportionate discrimination in education and employment, and severe barriers to accessing health care. Trans people also violence, harassment and even death purely for their gender identity - the Trans Murder Monitoring report recorded over 300 murders of trans people last year; a number which, in reality, is much higher. Visibility is crucial to tackling the misconceptions, hate and stigma which trans people face on a day to day basis.
As measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic expand across the world, they bring with them particular challenges for trans people. Increased barriers, or no access at all, to gender affirming care, little to no family support which his exacerbated by being unable to leave one's home if living with family, and severe job insecurity, which may lead to having to return to unsupportive family homes if a job is lost. A disproportionate number of trans people work in the sex industry due to widespread discrimination in other sectors - under the shadow of COVID-19 even this form of income is not available. With LGBTIQ organizations, community centers and events all shut due to physical distancing measures, community support is also diminished.
In times of crisis, such as the one the world is experiencing now, vulnerable groups become even more vulnerable, and an already invisible group runs the risk of becoming even more invisible. We need to ensure the opposite, because the most vulnerable groups are also the most affected in times like these. So this year the trans day of visibility is even more important than other years. We can not let our trans friends be pushed further into the margins of society!
To support LGBTIQ organizations across the world in this time OutRight Action International has launched a global emergency fund. The fund will offer emergency financial resources to LGBTIQ organizations around the world who are serving LGBTIQ communities, including specifically trans people, impacted by COVID-19.
OutRight Action International works at a global, regional and national level to eradicate the persecution, inequality and violence lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and queer (LGBTIQ) people face around the world. From its offices in 7 countries and headquarters in New York, OutRight builds capacity of LGBTIQ movements, documents human rights violations, advocates for inclusion and equality, and holds leaders accountable for protecting the rights of LGBTIQ people everywhere. OutRight has recognized consultative status at the United Nations.
Published on March 31, 2020 | OutRight Action International an LGBT human rights organization