Honouring the courage of transgender people globally, especially transgender people living with HIV
Today is International Transgender Day of Visibility, held annually on 31st March to celebrate transgender people globally and honour their courage and visibility to live openly and authentically.
This year’s 14th annual celebration is a day to also raise awareness around the stigma, discrimination and criminalisation that transgender people face.
According to the Human Dignity Trust, 14 countries currently criminalise the gender identity and/or expression of transgender people, using so-called ‘cross-dressing’, ‘impersonation’ and ‘disguise’ laws. In many more countries transgender people are targeted by a range of laws that criminalise same-sex activity and vagrancy, hooliganism and public order offences.
Transgender people living with HIV can be further criminalised based on their HIV-positive status, although we know that there are still too many invisibilities around the impact of HIV criminalisation on transgender people.
Cecilia Chung, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives and Evaluation of the Transgender Law Center, who is also a member of our Global Advisory Panel told our 2020 Beyond Blame webinar that there are not enough data on the impact of HIV criminalisation laws on transgender people. She said such data are not “uniformly collected across the world… The numbers still remain invisible even though we know for sure there are [HIV criminalisation] cases.”
HJN honours the courage of transgender people – especially transgender people living with HIV – to live openly and authentically. We also call for more visibility for transgender people in data collection, as well as reforms of all criminal laws and their enforcement that disproportionately target transgender people.