‘Work to do’ as coronavirus hits LGBT+ Jamaicans hard

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06/30/2020

Paris Lewinsky has been taking hormones for almost a year and is starting to grow breasts. But the transgender Jamaican’s long-held dream of physically transitioning is now under threat, because she cannot afford the drugs she needs. Before the coronavirus hit, Lewinsky, 27, made enough money through sex work, food preparation and working as a make-up artist to support herself and fund her transition. But the pandemic has hit all those income streams. “When I normally have my money, I’m taking my hormones,” said Lewinsky, who made about 59,000 Jamaican dollars ($425) a month before the pandemic, when her health insurance paid for the drugs. “But because I stop work, my health card (insurance) stop … Right now, I’m currently looking (to get) back a job so I can maintain myself.” Campaigners for LGBT+ rights say the community has been particularly badly hit by coronavirus restrictions in Jamaica, where they already suffer widespread discrimination.

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