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 access to service.
This pre-conference was considered the first step towards planning the Trans Health, Research and Advocacy conference scheduled for 26 – 28 November 2011, an event which would be the first of its kind on the continent. Gender DynamiX selected a number of individuals to attend the pre-conference. They were invited to attend because they were selected to ensure a broad as possible variety of experiences from within the trans community as well as multi-disciplinary professionals. Forty people attended the pre-conference.
The list of professionals that attended included one or more psychologists, a surgeon, a general practitioner, an endocrinologist, a nurse, a traditional healer, a sexologist, a social worker, a family physician, a journalist and a trans lawyer from the US who serve on the board of WPATH. Gender DynamiX was represented by staff and board members.
Community members were represented by trans masculine and trans feminine people from rural areas and cities, a refugee, parents of trans children and a trans woman in her senior years.
The attendees at the pre-Trans Health, Research and Advocacy Conference
The pre-conference was a great success and a milestone for the trans and intersex movement. One of the outcomes of the pre-conference in 2010 was that a journalist who attended, Eusebius Mckaiser, published an article in the Mail and Guardian in December 2010 in which he not only acknowledged his own previous ignorance of trans and intersex issues but it would mark the start of his ongoing support for the movement. Eusebius’ first real introduction to nuanced issues that are important for trans people came as a result of attending. Following his introduction to trans people during the conference he wrote a touching story, describing how his experience of attending the conference shaped his thoughts, acknowledging that LGBT people in general do not know half as well as what they even imagine about the lives of trans people. This personal account was published as a full-page contribution in the Mail & Guardian.
In the article, he writes: “This (lack of a full understanding of the nature of transgender bodies) is exaggerated by well-meaning organisations and funding bodies, which have a “catch all” approach. They imagine that in targeting the wider, mainstream gay or LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) communities, all sexual minorities are thereby accessed. In reality, the ‘T’ and the ‘I’ in LGBTI are invisible.”
He ended the article by stating: ” Prejudice against sexual minorities is not restricted to acts of overt violence against black lesbians. We need to be more vigilant about other manifestations of prejudice. Such vigilance must start with checking our own attitudes. Even victims of prejudice, including gay men and women, need to guard against trans-phobia.
Eusebius wrote the article titled ‘Making the ‘T’ and ‘I’ in LGBTI visible, as ‘staff reporter’
Edit 30 May 2023 - Today, Eusebius Mcaizer, passed away. In the years since the pre-conference in 2010 he established himself as a brilliant journalist, philosopher and political analyst He also remained an ally to the trans and intersex movement, he was a brilliant journalist, philosopher and political analyst.
A tribute to Eusebius Mckaiser – (28 March 1978 – 30 May 2023)
It is with shock and disbelief that South Africans and the world learned of the sudden and untimely passing of Eusebius McKaiser. Countless political, LGBTIQ+, Human Rights and anti-racism activists, journalists, academics and critical analysts, posted memories and tributes in comments on Eusebius’ own Facebook wall, Instagram and other social media platforms. He was a brilliant voice and thinker with a public opinion who did not shy away from controversial topics and was not scared to call issues by its name. He challenged journalists and other public figures to seek truth and honest, ethical reporting.
He was also a voice of reason and a critical ally to the queer community, from being out of the closet and publicly so, speaking up for LGBTIQ+ people, highlighting issues about bisexuality, about being gay and the challenges trans people live with, on a daily basis. He was a supporter of sex workers’ campaigns in decriminalization.
After Eusebius’ first introduction to trans and issues, he also spoke on his timeslot on Radio 702, in his talk show about how the “rest of the LGBT acronym” tries to silence the identity of T. He mentioned it again as a moderator in the Other Foundation’s Kopano in this video clip at the “Prospects for Progress Plenary” Part 4 & Part 5
Eusebius Mckaiser speaks out against The Anti-Homosexuality Act of Uganda, 2023
Recently Eusebius spoke out strongly about the Ugandan Anti-Homosexuality Bill that was recently passed by the Ugandan government as the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) in his podcast series: “In the Ring with Eusebius McKaiser” – Episode 157 – WE SHOULD ALL BE BLOODY PISSED OFF ABOUT THE UGANDAN BILL CRIMINALISING IDENTIFYING AS GAY (22 March 2023)
Eusebius’ last tweet on the day of his passing further underscores how strongly he felt about the Anti-Homosexuality Act :
The QueerSona series of Iranti, 9 February 2023
Earlier in 2023, during the time of South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation, the organization Iranti had a series on their social media campaign titled “QueerSona”
Eusebius added his voice and made a short statement too. His statement was trans-inclusive
Iranti was very appreciative of this and publicly thanked Eusebius for his contribution:
“We are grateful to you Eusebius Mckaiser for sharing your #QueerSona Eusebius McKaiser – Author, Broadcaster & Political Analyst. The President’s State of the Nation Address is upon us. We demand that President @CyrilRamaphosa acknowledge our demands and commit state officials and state resources to ensure an end to discrimination and acts of violence against LGBTQIA+ people. Join us, and hold the president accountable. #QueerSona#Sona2023#Sona23“
Obituaries and tributes to Eusebius Mcaizer
Liesl Theron on Facebook (Liesl is the co-founder of Gender DynamiX)
Whenever I saw there is some hectic nonsense going on in Mzanzi I always said “It is time to listen to Eusebius, to understand what is happening” because he analyzed political happenings so well, I liked to listen to his podcasts when I was cooking in the kitchen.
I remembered how he graciously sat silently and took all the “new” information in when we invited him to attend the first Trans Health Conference’s pre-conference in Hout Bay. He asked me why we invited him, as he doesn’t know much about the subject, and I replied, “That is why we want you here”.
After attending the conference, he wrote a full page for M&G about the struggles trans people face daily in their lives. He was brilliant!
After that, we were once co-panellists for the launch of a Queer book about Malawi LGBTQI community members, Muholi was the photographer and Eusebius, and I was invited by GALA to the launch as panellists. But beyond that, he was my guide about South African news, especially now that I live in Mexico.
Marion Stevens on Facebook. (Marion was on the planning committee for the pre-Trans Health, Research and Advocacy Conference)
Life is so fragile.
I remember our first meeting in Hout Bay in 2010 at the pre–Transgender Health conference. You sat in the back listening and then wrote a piece for the Mail and Guardian, putting transgender health struggles in the public domain for thought and consideration. I had a toddler with me, Xanny was about 4 years old and you kindly put up with their questions and requests for more orange juice.
Since then the thoughts you put in the public domain have been an enormous contribution to our democracy. At times of course you were irritating and arrogant. I am so shocked at your passing, life is so fragile, so soon this.
Condolences to your loved ones – your partner, your Dad, aunts and cousins – and many friends.
Eusebius Mckaiser rest easy.
Sally-Jean Shackleton on Facebook. (Sally-Jean was the inaugural chairperson of Gender DynamiX)
Eusebius, Mckaiser was a giant – in intellect and in bravery. What a devastating loss. I am grateful for his generosity in supporting and speaking up for sex workers, for being visibly queer, and outspoken…. for being a loyal and steadfast defender of what is right and good. How bizarre to be speaking about him in the past tense. Joining others today in mourning and sending comfort to his family and partner. Rest in power #eusibiusmckaiser