APTN x YouthLEAD’s Dignity Amidst COVID-19: Trans Youth Leaders’ Stories

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented human crisis that is claiming lives, destroying livelihoods and disrupting economies across the world. With the support of UNAIDS, the Asia Pacific Transgender Network (APTN) and Youth LEAD have worked together to increase the visibility and voices of trans and gender diverse youth leaders throughout Asia and the Pacific.

Starting on 31 July, we began to publish six stories of trans youth leaders who are making a difference in their communities. These young leaders come from a diverse range of countries and cultures across Asia and the Pacific, but are all working to improve the lives of trans and gender diverse communities amidst COVID-19.

Read each of their stories by clicking below.

Finding Myself Through Spirituality

Amar from Indonesia shares his personal journey, and the work that he’s been doing since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, including a resource to help transgender people reconcile with their faiths.

Read Amar’s Story

What It Means To Be Intersex In India

Dit from India shares his experience as an intersex person and why education is a key focus of his activism.

Read Dit’s story

Fa’afafines: The Fatu O Aiga’ Of Samoa

Jun from Samoa shares how she is contributing to the health and wellness of the fa’afafine community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read Jun’s Story


Let’s Help Protect And Care For Our Transgender Sisters In Pattaya

Garfield from Thailand shares her work with Sisters Foundation on the healthcare of transgender people, both in the fields of HIV and sexual health, and in response to COVID-19.

Read Garfield’s Story

Activism & Creating Safe Spaces For Trans And Gender Diverse People Of Colour Based In Hong Kong

Vincy from Hong Kong shares their work on the Gamut initiative, a collective of trans and gender diverse people of colour based in Hong Kong coming together to build a sustainable community to support and care for each other.
Read Vincy’s Story

সম্প্রদায় এবং হস্তান্তর নারীবাদী জোট
সুহানী মল্লিক – ভারতে একজন ট্রান্স মহিলার কর্মী

Community And The Trans Feminist Alliances
Suhani Mallik – A Trans Woman Activist In India

Suhani Mallik from India shares her work with Samabhabona, supporting trans people whose lives have been destabilised by the COVID-19 pandemic with financial support, food rations, and even relocation for those who have lost their homes.
Read Suhani’s story

  • Maya’s story in English
  • Maya’s story in Hindi

Maya, A Young Trans Woman Living With HIV, Using Her Personal Story To Advocate And Support Her Community In India

Maya, a HIV positive trans youth leader from India, shares how COVID-19 has changed the lives of her community, and how solidarity is helping them support each other through it.

This story was produced with the support of Basera Samajik Sansthan.
Read Maya’s Story Read in Hindi

  • Read Della’s story in English
  • Read Della’s story in Bahasa Indonesia

Della, A Young Trans Woman Activist Living With HIV, Protecting Her Community In Indonesia

Della, a HIV positive trans youth leader, shares the challenges of accessing HIV treatment in Indonesia amidst COVID-19 and how her community is overcoming it.

This story was produced with the support of Srikandi Sejati Foundation.
Read Della’s Story Read in Bahasa Indonesia