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2010 – The first Trans Health & Research Pre-conference in Africa

November 2010 – Gender DynamiX hosted the pre-Trans Health, Research and Advocacy Conference in Hout Bay, Western Cape, South Africa. The purpose of the pre-conference was to create awareness around the baseline situation experienced by trans people throughout South Africa – both in rural spaces and cities where there is, at minimum, a basic level …

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Labour Court Rules in Favour of Trans Woman, South Africa

The South African Labour Court ruled in favour of reinstating Christine Elhers after she took her employer, Bohler Uddeholm, to court for unfair discrimination and for dismissing her based on her gender identity. Judge Francis not only ruled for reinstatement but ordered the company to backpay Christine the salary she had lost between her dismissal …

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Auntie Tiwonge and Steven Monjeza Sentenced, Then Pardoned, Malawi

In May 2010, Auntie Tiwonge and Steven Monjeza were sentenced to 14 years of hard labour after being arrested on charges of gross indecency for publicly celebrating their relationship the previous year.  However, Malawian President Mutharika reversed this decision after a meeting with UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, and gave the couple a full pardon. Homosexuality …

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SistaazHood Founded, South Africa

SistaazHood is the first sex worker support group in South Africa, founded by trans women who were part of the Sex Worker Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) based in Cape Town. Led by trans women sex workers, Sistaazhood focuses its support and advocacy specifically on trans women sex workers. SistaazHood was founded after an initial …

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Arrest of Auntie Tiwonge and Steven Monjeza, Malawi

Auntie Tiwonge and Steven Monjeza celebrated their relationship at Auntie’s place of work in December 2009. Various mainstream media in Malawi published announcements of the “first gay marriage” in Malawi. This media attention alerted the authorities and Auntie and Steven were arrested on charges of gross indecency. Gender DynamiX (GDX) developed a media drive that …

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Trans and intersex rights groups respond to public debate about Caster Semenya, South Africa

Intersex South Africa (ISSA)’s Sally Gross, U.S. academic Amanda Lock Swarr, and Gender DynamiX (GDX)’s Liesl Theron co-authored a critical think piece that was published in the Fall edition of the Feminist Studies Journal. The piece, “South African Intersex Activism: Caster Semenya’s Impact and Import”, looks at the public responses from ISSA and GDX to …

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Caster Semenya subjected to gender verification tests, South Africa

South African track athlete, Caster Semenya, was subjected to gender verification tests after the World Athletics Championships in August 2009 in Berlin, where she improved on her 800m and 1500m records achieved at the 2008 World Junior Championships. The International Amateur Athletic Federation and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), now known as World Athletics, …

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Court Rules in Favour of Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, South Africa

The Out in Africa (OIA) Gay and Lesbian Film Festival won its case against the South African Film and Publications Board to unban the film XXY in August 2009. At the end of February of that same year, OIA argued in court against the initial decision to ban the film was based on discrimination, because …

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 The Humiliation and Death of Auntie Victoria, Tanzania

The death and humiliation of Aunty Victoria, Tanzania Auntie Victoria was reportedly the first openly identified trans woman in Tanzania. She received gender-affirming surgery in Europe many years ago (surgery dates undocumented). When she returned to Tanzania, her home country, she owned a tavern, and generated her own income. She was constantly ridiculed about being …

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Proudly African & Transgender, South Africa

During the Gender Identity workshop hosted in Cape Town,  Gabrielle Le Roux collaborated with Victor Mukasa and the other individual activists by drawing portraits of ten sub-Saharan African trans and intersex activists. Each person wrote a personal activism message on their own portrait. This activism-art work, titled Proudly African & Transgender, later travelled the world …

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Eastern and Southern African Trans/Gender Identity Institute, South Africa

The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), today known as OutRight International, and Gender DynamiX (GDX) hosted the historical Eastern and Southern African Trans/Gender Identity Institute in December 2008. 16 Trans and intersex activists from 9 African countries attended the meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. This was the first ever trans and …

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Court Rules in Favour of Victor Mukasa, Uganda

After a trial of three years, the Ugandan High Court ruled in Victor Mukasa’s favour. In this landmark ruling, the Court declared that the Government of Uganda had indeed violated the rights of privacy of the members of the organisation, Sexual Minorities of Uganda (SMUG), when the home of Victor Mukasa was unlawfully raided in …

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Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Sues the South African Film and Publications Board, South Africa 

The South African Film and Publications Board banned the intersex film XXY* on the grounds that they believed the film portrays child pornography. The Spanish film with English subtitles was produced by an Argentine filmmaker and tells the story of a teenager (15 years of age). The Out in Africa (OIA) Gay and Lesbian Film …

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IAAF Requires Gender Verification Tests for Botswana Athlete

Gold medallist Paralympian, Tshotlego* Morama (now Paul Morama) from Botswana underwent gender verification tests after a win in the 800m and 400m races at the Africa Senior Championships in Mozambique. There had already been a media spectacle in Botswana over Morama’s gender/sex (these two terms are used synonymously in Botswana) as Morama was assigned the …

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ILGA Establishes an Affiliate Pan African Organisation, South Africa

The International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA) hosted a conference in Johannesburg with the aim of establishing an organisation affiliated with them on the African continent – a Pan Africa ILGA (PAI). The African caucus had to determine the ILGA-Africa constitution and one of the decisions was to establish the Pan Africa ILGA (PAI) board, …

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Burundian Refugee Receives Asylum in South Africa

Alexandra Rubera, a trans woman from Burundi, faced arrest and death threats from private citizens and the police in her native country on an ongoing basis. Alexandra moved between Burundi and Rwanda as she had a parent from each country, making access easier to both countries. When life became too difficult for her, Alexandra had …

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Liesl Theron Hosts First Gender Diversity Awareness Workshop, South Africa

Liesl Theron, then a member of the Good Hope Metropolitan Community Church (GHMCC) coordinated a full-day workshop for its members under the title, “Gender Diversity Awareness”. This came about due to Liesl’s personal involvement with trans and gender-diverse people. Liesl and her partner at the time, Lex Kirsten, were introduced to each other by a …

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