Stigma attached to the LGBT+ community is historically rooted, as demonstrated by the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s. Yet, little is known about the role of sexuality in individuals’ experiences with the current COVID-19 pandemic, especially in dealing with the state responses to the outbreak. Using a case study of South Korea, this article examines how the LGBT+ community has become scapegoats and become even more excluded from the healthcare system during the current crisis than they were before. Drawing on queer, feminist, and stigma theories, this article argues that structural destigmatization can be a short-term, as well as a long-term solution for health emergencies. It offers important implications for states and societies for how to more efficiently and effectively prevent future outbreaks and protect the health and wellbeing of marginalized groups.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Cite as

Liu, S. 2021, 'Stigmatizing the already stigmatized: Destigmatization of the LGBT+ Community as a solution for COVID-19', Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Equality and Diversity, 7(1). https://www.research.ed.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/stigmatizing-the-already-stigmatized(c1d16756-bb44-4f4a-8b7a-fba694bc0a36).html

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Last updated: 29 July 2022
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