Gender Dynamix outreach co-ordinator, Miss Witnes Booysen conducted a workshop on transgender issues in East London on 5 November 2011. This was very interesting for the folks here at home since we have the tendency to confuse issues of sexual orientation and gender identity. After a flight back from Cape Town, I went to meet with Witnes at the lodge she was booked into. We went over some planning and prepared for the workshop the following day. Saturday morning we hit the training venue at nine o clock sharp and though no one had arrived, we prepared the venue and made sure everything was in place. Even though the training was not so well attended, we still had a curious crowd who hungered for this knowledge.
The training was attended by NGO representatives as well some of the trans constituency in East London. We are proud to say that the training was attended by young and old. This is also a good thing because it is always believed that transgender people are young people or white persons, and this off course, is not true. After an introduction on some of the common terms, Witnes discussed some of the surgeries available to transgender people in South Africa. The audience was very interested in this discussion with some interesting questions coming out of the audience. There was a brief distinction between sexual orientation and gender identity. This was one of those light-switching-on-moments for the audience as they had always confused the two issues.
The workshop concluded with a discussion on The Sex Description Act 49 of 2003. This Act facilitates the amendment of gender on identity documents of both pre- and post-op transgender persons. Remember that the Act makes provision for the amendment of gender markers for pre-op transgender persons and don’t let the department of Home Affairs tell you otherwise. If you have any difficulty with this process, don’t hesitate to contact Gender Dynamix at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 021 6335287 or contact Transgender and Intersex Africa at email@example.com or alternatively contact S.H.E at firstname.lastname@example.org. The East London transgender support group is looking forward to the following workshop in two weeks’ time. For more information on this workshop, please contact Witnes at email@example.com or Leigh-Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org. As usual, you can look forward to another exciting blog later this week or early next week and we encourage folks to keep in touch with us by: Email: email@example.com Phone: 0738110789 Fax: 0862603971 And remember to keep in touch with us via our blog at transfeminists.wordpress.com
Yours in Activism S.H.E, The social, health and empowerment coalition of transgender women in Africa.