More than 70 countries around the world continue to criminalize private, consensual same-sex sexual activity, with some including the death penalty. Beyond legal discrimination, harmful traditional, cultural, religious and customary norms and practices in many regions of the world continue to underpin discrimination and stigma against people based on who they are or whom they love.
And as if this wasn’t shocking enough, emergency situations such as COVID-19 amplify these inequalities, and increase the challenges the global LGBTI population faces in areas of food security, justice, access to healthcare, and more.
This situation leads to lower economic, social and health outcomes for LGBTI people, limiting their ability to maximize their potential and to contribute to the success of their families and communities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these communities are pushed even further into the margins. Due to the pandemic, economies are stalled and wages stagnant — leaving many without income. This can lead to food insecurity, difficulties seeking healthcare, and increased social isolation.
Widespread homophobia, biphobia and transphobia is largely based on ignorance and misinformation. Some community leaders blame LGBTI people for COVID-19, and this leads to even more discrimination, social isolation, and anxiety. When we educate ourselves about sexual orientation and gender identity and increase our awareness, we can limit the spread of these harmful misconceptions and encourage healthy dialogue and better understanding.
Test your knowledge on some of the facts around sexual orientation, gender identity and LGBTI people and share what you’ve learned with others. Understand how COVID-19 impacts the LGBTI community worldwide, and find out how you can join us in taking action for a fairer and more inclusive world.