COVID-19 Trans Resilience: Stories of Hope, Pain and Survival from the Asia and Pacific Trans Movement
This COVID-19 Trans Resilience Social Media Tool Kit contains graphics and recommended copy for posting during COVID-19 Social Media Campaign, the second phase of our rollout plan for the Trans Resilience Report as part of the UNAIDS COVID-19 Communications Grant.
|March 6/7||Week 0: COVID -19 Experience of Trans People Summary/Introduction|
|March 8-12||Week 1: Health: HIV Care|
|March 15-19||Week 2: Health: Gender Affirming Care|
|March 22-26||Week 3: Health: Mental Health|
|March 29||Bonus Post In Line w/ TDOV|
|April 5-9||Week 4: Financial Security + Social Protections|
|April 12-16||Week 5: Human Rights Violations|
|+1 (April 17)||Thank you and final post (Coming Soon)|
Relevant Hashtags: #weareAPTN #StandingUpForTransRights #Covid19TransResilience
Over the last year APTN has been working alongside our country partners and trans focal points in the region to closely monitor the evolving situation presented by COVID-19. As part of our programming we used a mix of monitoring and reporting methods to ensure we had accurate data to increase evidence and understanding of the context for trans communities to develop an effective and relevant response and advocate for greater action. With the generosity and the flexibility of our current and new donors, we were able to pivot and redirect our existing and new funding to integrate COVID-19 responsive mechanisms into our Standing Up for Trans Rights Strategic Plan 2018-2020 and establish a COVID-19 Community Support Fund.
Our data highlights how financial vulnerabilities and wealth inequalities impact their ability to keep themselves protected from COVID-19, with many unable to afford to panic buy and stock up on emergency supplies. The lack of legal gender recognition laws across the region increased exclusion and rejection of our community from essential government social protection schemes aimed to alleviate hardship. Additionally, trans people are experiencing increased difficulties getting access to hormones and gender-affirmative health care. The trauma experienced from the physical side effects of stopping their medical transition is having an overwhelmingly negative effect on their mental health.
Over the next five weeks, we will present our findings from our and our partner’s work which demonstrate an urgent need to guarantee the inclusion of transgender and gender non conforming people in efforts to fight COVID-19 and its effects. This COVID-19 campaign will feature snapshots and findings from APTN’s “Trans Resilience Report”, profile our partner organisations and the vital work they have been doing to combat COVID-19’s effects in trans communities, share the stories of the trans individual’s lived experiences throughout the pandemic, and feature articles and insights from experts in various fields from mental health to human rights.
Snapshots of the Issue
COVID-19 Limits Access to HIV Care
Basera Samajik Sanathan (India)
As countries around the globe reach the one-year milestone of the COVID-19 pandemic, APTN has been looking back over the last year of hope, pain, and survival from the transgender community. Over the next five weeks, we will present our findings from our and our partner’s work which demonstrate an urgent need to guarantee the inclusion of transgender and gender non conforming people in efforts to fight COVID-19 and its effects.
Due to the high rates of HIV and other underlying chronic health conditions in our community, trans people are vulnerable to exposure and risk of COVID-19 infection. Yet, COVID has made it more difficult to access HIV prevention, testing, and treatment. Find out more about COVID-19’s effects on transgender people’s access to HIV care, and how organisations are working to improve access despite COVID-19 barriers.
One of the greatest stressors for trans people during COVID-19 has been the declining availability of gender-affirming care and treatment. Doctors are focused on fighting COVID, hormone supplies have been disrupted, and surgeries have been cancelled or postponed. This disruption in gender-affirming care for trans people has exacerbated mental health including increasing anxiety and depression. Read more about the repercussions of COVID-19 on access to gender affirming care, and how organisations are working to provide this necessary treatment to communities.
Across the region, almost universally our partners reported the increasing impacts on the community’s mental health. Isolation from their friends and peers has increased feelings of loneliness, stress and depression. Coupled with fear of exposure to COVID-19, reduced or loss of income and reduced access to gender-affirming care, our partners reported that this has led to an increase in the number of trans people committing suicide. With a lack of trans competent mental health care, our partners are having to step up to provide mental health care to their communities themselves – read more about these organisations and the vital work they are doing to support their communities.
Historical systemic and systematic discrimination against trans people stemming directly from harmful laws criminalising their identities and sexual behaviours and a lack of legal gender recognition across Asia and the Pacific region has further impacted trans people’s access to financial and health security throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out how our partner’s are stepping up to fulfill their communities growing needs during the pandemic.
Governments have been using the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to further stifle and limit the rights of transgender people. Startling reports were sent in by our partners sharing stories of increased human rights violations and gender-based violence – read those stories here and learn how organisations are still advocating for their rights despite COVID-19 restrictions.
Key Links & Contact Information
Asia Pacific Transgender Network