OSISA Brown Bag: "Being Trans" and the Advocacy associated with it!

Transgender people express a gender identity that is different from their birth sex. In a world where there is just a two-binary gender ‘system’, one can explain it as male bodied people identifying as female and female bodied people identifying as male. We however, acknowledge that there are many other ways of expressing oneself on a gender continuum. Some change their bodies with gender affirming hormone treatments and surgeries, (if they are able to gain access to this kind of health care), while many other cannot access this kind of health care due to health issues or the lack of availability.In as much as opportunities to transition in South Africa are extremely limited; it is twice as inaccessible in most other African countries and illegal in others. Some trans people are able to express their gender within their communities and do not choose medical intervention while others prefer to make use of traditional and indigenous medicines. During a previous OSISA supported project, Gender DynamiX in partnership with SIPD, Uganda hosted an Exchange Programme for trans activists from Eastern & Southern Africa. Part of this exchange programme was to create a DVD, Exquisite Gender where trans people shared their own stories.During this Brown Bag, we will share 3 of the stories. The screening will be followed by dialogue interaction. As is evident from the stories of participants, the experience of being transgender encompasses all areas of one’s life. It impacts on how you experience your own body, how you relate to family and friends and how you negotiate your social identity within society. From early childhood it may involve marginalisation, victimisation and a struggle for acceptance for one’s gender identity. It also affects how you relate intimately and sexually to others and which kinds of sexual practices you engage in or avoid. A recurrent theme is the need to make others understand that being transgender is not the same as being gay.


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