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June 2012 — Murder of Trans Person, Thapelo Makutle, South Africa

Thapelo Makutle, a 23-year-old person from Kuruman in the Northern Cape province, who identified as gay and transgender, was callously murdered in June 2012. Thapelo was a volunteer at a local gay and lesbian organisation, the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Organisation (LEGBO) in the Northern Cape, and also participated in pageants as a drag queen, …

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April 2011 — IAAF Passes New Policy on Gender Verification

In April 2011 the events of Caster Semenya’s gender verification spiralled into an international debate about intersex* conditions and gender, resulting in the IAAF passing a new policy on gender verification, making the tests more specific to suspected cases of ‘hyperandrogenism’ in elite female athletes. The IAAF (International Amateur Athletic Federation and International Association of …

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2011 — Trans Woman Tshepo Ricki Kgositau Sues the State for the Right to Gender Marker Change, Botswana

Batswana trans woman, Tshepo Ricki Kgositau, applied to the Civil and National Registration office in Gaborone, Botswana to change her documentation in the national register from male to female in 2011. She argued that the State has a duty to realise the constitutional protection of rights and amend her Omang (identity document), as “her birth-assigned …

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2010 — The First Trans Health & Research Pre-Conference in Africa, South Africa

In 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 of …

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13 August 2010 — Labour Court Rules in Favour of Trans Woman, South Africa

On 13 August 2010 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 …

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May 2010 — 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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2010 — SistaazHood Founded, South Africa

SistaazHood is the first sex worker support group in South Africa, founded in 2010 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 …

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December 2009 — 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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20 November 2009 — Launch of “Trans: Transgender Life Stories from South Africa”, South Africa

On 20 December 2009, The Gay and Lesbian Archives (GALA) and Gender DynamiX (GDX) launched the book, Trans: Transgender Life Stories from South Africa, in Cape Town, South Africa. It was first book of its kind on the continent. The specific date was selected as it is the International Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR). The …

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August 2009 — Trans and Intersex Rights Groups Respond to Public Debate About Caster Semenya, South Africa

In August 2009, 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 …

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August 2009 — Caster Semenya: Gold Medals, Gender Verification Tests, and her journey since then, South Africa

In August 2009, the world was introduced to South African track athlete Caster Semenya as she won the 800m World Championships in Berlin, Germany and simultaneously came under public scrutiny over her eligibility to compete in women’s sport.

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, asserted that it felt compelled to carry out investigations on Semenya’s performance and sex after she improved her record by 25 seconds in the 1500m track event, and by 7 seconds in the 800m track race. They claimed that “this sort of dramatic breakthrough usually aroused the suspicion of drug use.”

August 2009 — 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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17 May 2009 — The Humiliation and Death of Auntie Victoria, Tanzania

17 May 2019 — 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 …

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December 2008 — Proudly African & Transgender Art Exhibition, South Africa

During the Gender Identity workshop hosted in Cape Town in December 2008, 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 …

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December 2008 — Eastern and Southern African Trans/Gender Identity Institute, South Africa

In December 2008, 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. 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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September 2008 — Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Sues the South African Film and Publications Board, South Africa 

In September 2009, 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 …

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2 June 2008 — The Murder of Drag Queen Daisy Dube, South Africa

On 2 June 2008, Daisy Dube, a gender variant person, and four friends who self-identified as drag queens, went out clubbing in the evening in Yeoville, Johannesburg. Men outside the club called them izitabane,* referring to their gender identity. In resistance, Daisy and her friends shouted back, asking them to stop insulting them by calling …

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August 2007 — IAAF Requires Gender Verification Tests for Botswana Athlete

Gold medallist Paralympian, Tshotlego* Morama (now Paul Morama) from Botswana underwent gender verification tests in August 2007 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 …

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