Visibility of Transgender People Even More Important As COVID-19 Recovery is Underway

31 March 2021

Visibility of Transgender People Even More Important As COVID-19 Recovery is Underway

March 31 is Transgender Day of Visibility, marked annually to build awareness about trans people and the discrimination and exclusion they face across the world on a daily basis. This year, as recovery from a global pandemic, is underway in many countries, visibility of trans people is even more important. 

Trans people are among the most vulnerable 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. In 13 countries laws continue to criminalize “cross-dressing”, in a further 37 laws on morality, vagrancy, public nuisance, and others are used to target trans people1. In 67 countries laws criminalizing same-sex relations are also often used to attack trans people. 

The most vulnerable are also the most affected in times of crisis - all of these vulnerabilities have been amplified during COVID-19, pushing trans people even further into the margins of society. Throughout the crisis, trans people have faced a devastation of livelihoods due to overrepresentation in informal sector jobs stemming from pervasive discrimination in employment, increased barriers to accessing crucial healthcare, higher rates of domestic and family violence, and scapegoating for the crisis. 

Moreover, LGBTIQ people, and trans people in particular, are too often excluded from humanitarian responses and relief efforts which use binary definitions of gender, unsafe distribution locations, or transphobic staff. For trans people, the pandemic is not turning a corner. 

As global headlines report increasing COVID-19 vaccine delivery and a promise to a return to some semblance of normalcy within reach, the most vulnerable communities, especially trans people, are being forgotten. This has implications for societies as a whole. 

OutRight launched a COVID emergency fund in April 2020 to support LGBTIQ organizations on the frontlines. We recently released a new call for applications to ensure that LGBTIQ people, and trans people in particular, do not fall through the cracks of recovery efforts. 



ILGA World. Trans Legal Mapping 2020. Available on:



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.