Today—March 31, 2020—we are taking the opportunity to highlight the plight of our transgender brothers and sisters during the COVID-19 crisis as we celebrate the 11th International Transgender Day of Visibility (TDoV). But first, Happy Transgender Day of Visibility, guys!

That being said, how do we celebrate TDoV during these trying times?

While we can’t attend local TDoV events because social activities have been suspended as we observe social distancing, fortunately there’s social media so we can still talk online about why the transgender community needs more visibility. We can also donate to organizations that promote transgender equality here. Alternatively, you can send help to them directly, simply search for the hashtag #TransCrowdFund on Twitter and you will find that many are in dire need of help because of the coronavirus pandemic. Further, we can take this time to educate ourselves about gender expression, trans-friendly pronouns, emotional attraction, sex assigned at birth, trans terminology, gender identity, and sexuality as well. Read more here.  

But most importantly, let us check on each other and look after each other especially today. According to Newsweek, this coronavirus pandemic has “less visible consequences” unique to the transgender community. For one, a lot of them are unable to have access to their hormone replacement therapy (HRT) because of the COVID-19 crisis. “Heading to the hospital to get my HRT shots administered is undesirable both for putting the additional workload on already strained staff and for the dramatically increased risk of exposure during the inevitable wait times at the emergency or urgent care clinics,” says Molly Landgraff, author of Tally the Witch, during her interview with Newsweek.

Moreover, some of them are also losing their insurance coverage and jobs because of the COVID-19 crisis, their gender affirming surgeries postponed. National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) has a guide for those who are experiencing trouble with their coverage during this time, you may access it here. NCTE has also put together important resources for trans people during COVID-19 crisis such as access to: medical providers and latest health information, housing, mental health, social support, financial assistance, resources for internet access, resources for families, and resources for undocumented migrants, click here

Before we leave, we would like to honor Queens-based transgender activist Lorena Borjas, a community leader who passed away on March 30, 2020 due to coronavirus. Ms. Borjas had dedicated her life to serving the transgender community. During her lifetime, she helped trans women, sex workers, and others get access to: “HIV testing, necessary supplies to practice safe sex, emergency funds, and legal representation to help buffer the interactions of these marginalized folks with the criminal justice system.” Read more about her and the impact her heroic deeds had made on the lives of transgender people and sex workers here.

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