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TRANS Book at Pride Book Fair PDF Print E-mail

TRANS – TRANSGENDER LIFE STORIES FROM SOUTH AFRICA was one of five books exhibited at the Cape Town Pride Book Fair recently held at Kalk Bay Books. The speakers were co-editors Charl Marais and Joy Rosemary Wellbeloved.
ImageIn his speech Charl spoke about the necessity of the book for friends and families of transgender persons, as well as for academics and health and other service providers.

“The book is important for all people involved in the life of a transgender person. Through these stories, told by more than twenty brave souls, one becomes familiar with the many challenges transpeople face,” he said.

The book is also important for the transgender person, in whatever stage of transition, he added, and will quell at least some of the fears and give hope for the future.

Joy spoke about the then and now aspect of the book, describing in some detail how things were when she first understood that she was transgender. There was no source of information, but in 1985 she discovered Phoenix which became a haven for her and other, mostly heterosexual transvestites and cross-dressers.

“In the days before DVD’s and the internet it was almost impossible to get any reliable information on Gender issues... In 1985/6 this [Phoenix’s Fanfare magazine] was the limit of my information system, apart from the occasional life story of a transsexual from overseas, which seemed very exotic in verkramp South Africa. I poured my heart out in a series of articles in Fanfare, as I slowly came to terms with the true me inside,” Joy reminisced.

“Twenty –four stories, twenty-four brave unique transgender lives. One humanity,” she said in conclusion.

Joy first heard about Gender DynamiX “from various sources” and finally met Liesl, the executive director, in 2007, and in 2009 was included in the book project.
There were five other books highlighted at the book fair. These were Yes I Am, compiled by Robin Malan & Ashraf Johaardien; Hijab: Unveiling Queer Muslim Lives, edited by Pepe Hendricks; Miriam Dancing, compiled by Elise van Wyk and Saracen At The Gates, written by Zinaid Meerans.

Image courtesy of Liesl Jobson - Book SA

Are LGBTI People Discriminating Amongst Themselves? PDF Print E-mail
The second annual Shame and Prejudice Dialogue was held recently at the Winchester Mansions in Green Point and formed part of the events leading up to Cape Town Pride.

In her introduction, Liesl Theron, Executive Director of Gender DynamiX, said that while we are always accusing heterosexual or straight people of being prejudiced or discriminatory, is it not also happening in the LGBTI community? Are we not doing it amongst ourselves about ourselves?

Three panellists spoke from vastly diverse perspectives. Wayne Henry Berger, who spoke through an interpreter, is from Deaf South Africa and the Western Cape branch of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Deaf Persons. Sipho Mtakati spoke from the view point of a SOFFA (Significant Other, Friends, Family and Allies) and partner of a transgender person who constantly faces prejudices within the lesbian community.  Caroline Bowley, who works at Gender DynamiX, spoke about the challenges she faces as a transgender woman who is also a lesbian.
A Big Turn-Out at the Sexual Health Conference PDF Print E-mail
The Sexual Health and Rights Conference, the 4th of its kind on the African Continent, described as “big” and “excellent”, was recently held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia recently. The Conference, initiated by Action Health Incorporated, partnered with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), was attended by more than 700 delegates from more than 50 countries internationally with its focus on Africa.

The opening keynote address was delivered by the President of Ethiopia, Mr Girma Woldegiorgis with the Ethiopian Minister of Health, Dr Tedros Adhanom; Dr Gill Greer, Director General of IPPF; Mr Jean Ping, Chairperson, African Union Commission; Mr Abdoulie Janneh, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of ECA, UNECA; and Dr Rosemary Coates, President, World Association for Sexual Health also speaking.
Meanings of Masculinity and Femininity PDF Print E-mail
27 October 2009

"What's wrong with 'I bathed with her.'?"

ImageThis was the question that really stood at the heart of the matter at a recent seminar hosted by the Democracy Development Program (DDP: www.ddp.org.za ). Attended by a variety of delegates from across the spectrum of academic and civil society, the event was meant to question society's understanding of what it means to be a man or a woman in the wake of the events around Caster Semenya.
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Gender DynamiX South Africa: The first African organisation solely for the transgender communtity. Committed to provide resources, information and support to transgender people, their partners, family, employers and the public.