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 mutual friend from GHMCC. When it became known to Lex that Liesl had previously been in a relationship with a trans man (1997–2000), Lex wanted to find more information about transitioning and related topics. This and Liesl’s previous relationship became known by members of GHMCC, so Liesl, a member of GHMCC’s council, offered to put together a workshop so that church members and other interested people could learn and understand more about the then “nearly unheard of” topics of transgender and intersex people, and gender diversity.
Liesl invited guest speakers who included, among others, Estian Smit, Sally Gross and Dr Marlene Wasserman, also known as Dr Eve. The workshop held at the church was a landmark event, as not only was it attended by more than double the number of people Liesl expected, but it was hosted for three more years on the anniversary of the first workshop. Looking back, the first Gender Diversity Awareness workshop and the interest demonstrated by the attendance was one of the factors that encouraged Liesl to continue her trans[gender] awareness-raising work, which led to the founding of Gender DynamiX (GDX) later in the same year. Before the founding, and during the first two years of the existence of Gender DynamiX, GHMCC supported Liesl and Lex tremendously in their efforts to raise awareness about gender diversity.