The Transpeople of Africa

My significant other is South African, and so anything in the news regarding the country usually catches my eye. I was pleasantly surprised to happen upon the following article reviewing a newly released DVD:

http://ilga.org/ilga/en/article/mIPIA581Zx

Africa is a huge continent made of incredibly diverse people. In no way could one transperson’s story be assumed to be the same as another. The new DVD Exquisite Gender does try to show the diversity and beauty in the transgender identity of Africans.

The film showcases several trans people as well as those who identify as intersexed who tell their stories and a particular topic or emotion that was important to them regarding transition. These individuals vary in idealism, location, and identity. Transgenderism is a new topic in Africa and has been met with hesitation and resistance. It has been seen that some parts of “Africa are finding it difficult to understand the dynamic of transgenderism.” as the article states.

One of the participants is a trans man from South Africa who discusses the legal freedom vs. actual social freedom of the GLBTI community in the country. It struck me that homosexuals have the right to legally marry (a right, that we in the United States still lack– unbelievably) and yet there is such a hesitation to live freely within the GLBTI community because of the inevitable social repercussions of displaying that lifestyle.

The article also discusses how many trans Africans refer to themselves. It mentioned that transgender is a new term for self identification.

I have not seen this film but I am very eager to. It appears that it is not easily attainable, maybe only through the e-mail address at the bottom of the article. Either way it would be a wonderful way to see into the lives of the trans people of Africa.

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One response to “The Transpeople of Africa

  1. I left my heart in South Africa last summer with the students that I was teaching. So I am still very invested in their happenings. I know little information about the LGBTQA community in South Africa, but I would love to learn more. I have some friends there; maybe they can mail a copy to me! I will let you know. Thanks for the info!

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