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Gender DynamiX Stratetic Planning Workshop PDF Print E-mail

May 2007 

Gender DynamiX held its first strategic planning, having the Management Committee and 16 stakeholders attending this 4 day workshop. The overall purpose of this strategic planning was to plan the projects and activities of GDX for the next 3 years. By having as many as possible trans people attending the strategic planning enabled Gender DynamiX to have a written mandate supporting its work.

Most of the participants met each for the first time during this strategic planning, and many met other trans people for the first time. The whole experience was a positive and uplifting experience and everyone looks forward to the future of Gender DynamiX.

Most people at this strategic planning had never attended any type of workshop, and were not previously involved in activism or the LGBTI sector. Due to this and also because some people only learned during this strategic planning workshop about all the work Gender DynamiX is doing, special care was taken to make sure people understand the purpose of the workshop, and familiarise themselves with Gender DynamiX.

Since community building and information gathering  is a goal of Gender DynamiX  GALA was invited to record the full four days on film.



Care was taken to select facilitators who are familiar with the LGBTI sector. Two people facilitated, as one person took minutes of the complete full 4 days, which resulted in a very thorough report while the other person actually facilitated. Two previous meetings were held, in preparation of the strategic planning to determine the program and exact format the workshop should take on.

Accommodation and venue

Due to the fact that the strategic planning was 4 full days, from a Thursday to a Sunday, and some people had to take leave at work the Management Committee of Gender DynamiX decided that everyone, including the people staying in Cape Town should stay at the venue. It was going to be 4 long days, and to drive to and from the venue, eliminating those participants’ sense of “community” as they will miss out on a lot of group activities.

The workshop and accommodation venues were selected with “community building” in mind. Both the venues are managed (one owned) by people in the LGBT community. As it was the first time for many participants to be in Cape Town it was extra special to be able to negotiate a good price with a venue and setting in the picturesque  Kalk bay.

Selecting and inviting participants

The Management Committee of Gender DynamiX made a very definite decision to have attendance from as many provinces as possible (taking in consideration that we had to weigh amounts of flights up against amount of people who can attend from Cape Town)

Care was taken to have diversity in cultures, age, gender and Gender identity, sexual orientation, geographic, education, income status, previous exposure to such workshops and knowledge of transgender issues. Seven people were from the Management Committee, leaving 15 people to create a wide as possible diversity to enable Gender DynamiX to have full representation from the trans community in South Africa.

Fourteen people identified as female, although only four are cis-gender. (Cis-gender people are people happy with their gender at birth). Of the eight male identified people seven were FTM (female to male transsexual) and one is cis-gender. Sexual orientation also varied across the continuum. Cultures were also well represented.

There were people from the Western Cape, Gauteng, Northern Province, Mpumalanga and Kwa-Zulu Natal. One person is this year busy completing school, one student; two people are currently unemployed while four are self employed. Three people are working in the NGO sector while the remaining eleven people are employed. The ages varied from 20 to 51 years of age.

Networking with other LGBT NGO’s in the sector

The good long standing relationship between Gender DynamiX and GALA (Gay and Lesbian Archives) resulted in an agreement between the two organisations to ensure full video recording of the four days’ strategic planning. This documentation can be used in the future by Gender DynamiX and GALA and the participants agreed the release of the information to be primarily to GDX or GALA with publication or film documentary in mind.


The first two days was mostly spent to inform people about Gender DynamiX past activities and mission, vision and current affairs. A lot of creative activities were used to create whish lists and bringing people from the point of dreaming about projects to the understanding of how to manage it into actual real projects.

A lot of written ideas and suggestions were made and people were very enthusiastic about the future of Gender DynamiX (GDX). The facilitators managed to deliver a very detailed report (Attached, Appendix I) which can be used during the next three years by the management Committee to steer the organisation.

During the workshop, on day 3 key areas were highlighted, indicating Gender DynamiX focus points to concentrate on during the next three years:

1. Education and awareness
  • Workplace support
  • Trans guide
  • Translation of articles and documents
  • Workshops
  • Information centre
  • Producing and distribution of pamphlets
  • Research
2. Advocacy and Lobbying
  • Forming alliances & Partnerships with other groups and NGO’s
  • Various projects was named as per workshop: “Deep Throat”, “Together we are one” and “stand up for your rights”
3. Community Building
  • Information Centre
  • Shelters
  • Awareness, radio program
  • Support groups
4. Fundraising
5. Miscellaneous
  • Podcast project
  • GDX Magazine
  • E-magazine
6. Direct Services
  • Shelter
  • Community centre
  • Workplace support

Many people offered to volunteer their time in various ways, such as translating some of the Gender DynamiX website content and articles to Xhosa, Pedi and Tswana. Some people want to get involved in a quarterly newsletter while others will contribute time when people are needed to be interviewed by journalists, researchers or radio stations.

The group as a whole decided to release the film documentation at the discretion of the Director of Gender DynamiX to be used in future publications or filming with their names and identities as they present (no pseudonyms). This will hugely contribute to future GALA/GDX projects.

People were uplifted and very positive after this four day workshop. It was a great experience and many people commented it was one of their personal highlights to this date! One person commented on the evaluation form: I want to be part of the change GDX will bring to the world, after all this is my world”, while another said: “Thank you for giving me this opportunity to become part of this historical process. One person also said: “I never thought I would meet trans people, so being here is really a Godsend, for all that you have made possible for us; it doesn’t pass by without acknowledgement!”

The written report (and the film recording) will serve as a representative mandate from South Africa’s trans community for the future work of Gender DynamiX.

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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.