The documentary, Woubi Chéri, focused on the lives of Woubis*, Yossis**, and other members of the Branché*** community in Ivory Coast. The award-winning documentary was featured globally in various film festivals and on a number of documentary platforms.
Shortly after Woubi Chéri’s release, Barbara from L’Association des Travestis de Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast Transvestites Association), who was one of the people interviewed in the film, emigrated to France. Slowly the energetic drive for the Association decreased and no more signs of their militant activism were seen. It is speculated that the reason for this is the nonprofit industrial complex, which saw funding for activism increasingly moving towards HIV/AIDS in the context of MSM (men who have sex with men), which erased all the efforts made by the Woubis.
Woubis (and cross-dressers or transvestites/travestis) cannot automatically be assumed to be transgender or to specifically claim Western terminology. Woubis existed long before any information was available on the internet and social media. Through research and the documentary Woubi Chéri, it became quite evident and very clear that the Branché community and the Woubi community have a much wider and larger range of genders and sexualities than the Western binary system. They are gender outlaws, so to speak.
* Woubis are effeminate boys who play the role of women or wife in the relationship.
** Yossis are the men or the husbands in the relationship. They can be bisexual and/or married with a family while in a relationship with a Woubi.
** Branché is a local term whose meaning is not widely understood by heterosexual and cisgender people in Ivory Coast and is used by sexual and gender minorities to describe themselves and one another.