the social health and empowerment collective of transgender and intersex women in SADC

All posts tagged the social health and empowerment collective of transgender and intersex women in SADC

S.H.E Feminist Internship, 1st quarter 2015

Published December 11, 2014 by transfeminists

Friends, colleagues and supporters

It has been a while! We are writing with exciting news for 2015. S.H.E is offering a feminist internship during 2015. Please click on the words (link) below to access the call and remember to get your application in on time.

Call for 2015 feminist internship

Till next time!

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2012 in review S.H.E. Thank you to all of you for your kind support

Published January 7, 2013 by transfeminists

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 1,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 3 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Girls like us

Published October 30, 2012 by transfeminists

Good day friends and supporters of S.H.E

I am overjoyed at announcing the success of our strategic planning meeting in East London. I am working on the blog post for that meeting and you will have to wait and see. In the meantime, I am making the announcement that our executive have been put together in our board meeting before the strategic planning and is as follows:

Chairperson: Barbra Muruga, Nairobi, Kenya

Deputy Chair: Marion Stevens: Cape Town, South Africa

Treasurer: Busi Deyi, Port Elizabeth, South Africa

Secretary: Revelation Xakoshe, Pretoria, South Africa

Congratulations to all and I am hoping for a long fruitful working relationship with you all. Our new chairperson, Barbra, has written a good analysis of what it means to be a transgender woman in Africa. For all who read our blog and would like to feature as a guest writer, please drop me a line at transfeminists@gmail.com and I will upload it onto our blog provided it is in line with our feminist agenda. Enjoy this read and do send us your comments.

Girls Like Us

 

I am a beautiful woman. I know that. People tell me that all the time. Men swoon over me numerous times. Women too. I’m getting used to it.

 

But its not easy being me. Girls like us have body issues. Its what they call gender dysphoria. You know, when you’re born with a brain that’s a different gender than your body. We know that changing the brain has been tried countless times with drastic results. But changing the body has bore many a good fruit.

 

African girls like us are not so lucky to get this though. They sail through life not even knowing what is wrong with them. They live miserable lives of mere existence. They just exist. Nothing more. The ones who are lucky enough to know what they are dealing with and get the courage to live their lives face constant hatred, backlash and sometimes violence. We struggle to be ourselves.

 

The one thing that is constant for all of us is; we don’t like our bodies. Especially if we are older. Everything just seems out of place. Like a broken mirror. No one looks at that and says, “wow, I like the reflection”. They simply give it a smirk and leave.

 

The ones who are lucky enough to live out as they are supposed to and actually ‘succeed’ (yes, we live in a patriarchal world that tells us how black and white must look like) have their own struggles. Yes, they are pretty, and smart, and get hit on a lot. But its not all rosy. We may look pretty on the outside, but we definitely still have issues with our bodies.

 

Dating for girls like us is a nightmare. You find someone you like and obviously the ‘sex’ question pops up at some point. The question we all dread. Most of us date straight men. Straight men have particular, usually simple, expectations. Simply put, they want ‘pussy’. We don’t have pussy to give. We have ‘other stuff’ ‘down there’. We hate that ‘stuff’. It completely kills the mood. All the time. Its even worse for those of us who don’t enjoy or have anal sex!

 

So whenever we are with a nice man, our minds are constantly wondering whether we look okay. Whether he can tell. Whether he can see our tiny bump on our necks. Whether they can notice our voices are a few decibels lower than most other girls. Whether they will ask for sex. Whether we can trust them enough to tell them. Whether they will tell others about us once we tell them. Whether they will do something to us if we tell them. So many questions. So many thoughts. Very little enjoyment of the moments.

 

Its our lives. Its who we are. And until we can afford those expensive surgeries that can only be got in a few places and require a whole deal of paperwork that we’d rather not endure, we will survive somehow. We slowly learn to love ourselves. We slowly get to like what we see in the mirror. Every compliment is a boost to our self esteem. Every smile we get for ours is a reminder that someone else likes us. And we can live.

 

We will survive.

Until next time

 

Leigh

 

S.H.E highlights from the People’s Health Assembly, hosted by the University of the Western Cape 6 to 12 July 2012

Published July 18, 2012 by transfeminists

It was such an honour meeting Zackie Achmat at the People’s Health Assembly in Cape Town 6 to 11

It was so nice to return to my alma mater UWC where the People’s Health Assembly took place 6 to 11 July 2012

 

This was just about the most interesting session at the People’s Health Assembly with a medical professional demonstrating the use of the Ipas, a tool used in surgical abortion