October 2012 Update

After our tense meeting with Steve Biko Hospital, followed by article City press article, 2 members of TIA who were previously refused treatment have now confirmed that the hospital is now assisting them. Today one of them is receiving her hormones for the first time after 5 years of struggle . As TIA team we proud to see our work paying off. SMS from Catricia “Hello Tebogo I saw the panel today and i got my hormones. Thank you a lot for bieng there for me” Congratulations Cate!!!

The Child

By Nthabiseng Mokoena

Thunder, lightning and storms as the heavens ululate and sing for the arrival of a child, a soul, a person…a human being.
Joy, excitement and hope as the father anticipates and wishes for the birth of a boy, a male, an heir….a son.
Emotions run high and thoughts run wild as the mother prays and pleads to deliver a girl, a woman, a baby girl…a daughter.
As she screams and scratches, pants and prays, she pushes once more to usher into the world the child, the soul, the person…the human being.
Questions, queries, thoughts and assumptions run through their minds as midwives. They stare in confusion, they wail and lament as they turn to the ancestors and ask; what is this that you have given us?
Villages, towns and townships run amok with rumours and riddles, tales and teachings of the cursed child, the hermaphrodite, the tranny…the “it”
Stares and snares, whispers and worries follow the child through every stage, every street, every corner…and every room.
The coldness and crudeness,
The isolation and ignorance.
All these constructed and contributed to me becoming the ‘I’
I who is mistreated and misunderstood.
I who is ignored and not included.
I who is butchered and mutilated.
I who is intersex.
I who is in the perfect form, state and variation.
I exist!

In terms of I…

Written for International Intersex Awareness Day

By Sam Ndlovu

Is it genuine interest, or intrigue or just intrusion
When it comes to intersex, many think it’s an illusion
many wonder, what’s my sex? Tell me where lies the confusion
Just embrace my uniqueness, put an end to my exclusion

I symbolize diversity and all life’s variation
I signify such beauty that u turn to complication
I’m infinite existence I’m incredibly complex
I’m intricately intimate, of course I’m intersex

I’m genuine inclusion, I’m an endless possibility
Although I seem ambiguous and mostly viewed suspiciously
I’m just a true embodiment of life’s interpretation
Of unity and oneness and of true interrelation

And though you may interrogate or Isolate or bully
I choose to rise above your fears, though I’m ignored unduly
I’m not a this, I’m not a that, I am this person fully
And that is all you need to know to get to know me truly

International Intersex Awareness Day

For immediate release

Transgender and Intersex Africa supports the International Intersex Awareness Day on the 26th of October. On this day in 1996 intersex activists carrying the sign “Hermaphrodites with attitude” and allies from Transsexual Menace held the first public intersex demonstration in Boston, USA.

TIA believes that this day is a great opportunity to break the silence and stop the ignorance about the existence of the intersex community in South Africa. It is also an opportune time to highlight the challenges and struggle that intersex individuals face in our country, such as non-consensual and unnecessary genital mutilation of intersex babies. Hundreds of intersex infants continue to be subjected to inhumane “corrective surgeries” in order to align them to stereotypical norms of sex and gender. Many intersex people continue to live in silence and isolation as a result of the prejudice and discrimination they face from society. As a result TIA aims to increase access to medical care and legal services for intersex people.

Transgender and Intersex Africa remains committed to its mission to advocate and lobby for Intersex human rights. We remain committed to empowering intersex individuals and creating safe spaces where they can share experiences and knowledge.

“Intersex people should be celebrated as part of the diverse and variant human phenomenon, intersex individuals should not be forced to undergo life impacting medical procedures without their consent and the proper information.” says Nthabiseng Mokoena, Advocacy Coordinator at TIA

“The medical pathological approach to intersex is still a big concern; intersex is not a disorder and should not be seen as one” says Tebogo Nkoana, Director at TIA

“My sex, my gender, my body…. MY DECISIONS’ – TIA

For more information:
Nthabiseng Mokoena
Advocacy Coordinator
Tel: +2778 0210363
E-mail: nth.abi@live.com

Tebogo Nkoana
Tel: +2773 432 4499
E-mail: transgender.intersex101@gmail.com

Activity Update

* 2-5 October: We were attending a Capacity Development Trajectory programme in Namibia.
*6 October : We had an information stall/desk at Johannesburg Pride in order to bring visibility of the Transgender and Intersex community and offer medical and legal advice to trans and intersex individuals.
* 8-11 October : We were finalising projects and activity plans for the remainder of the year and the coming year, watch this space, great things are going to be happening!
* 11 October : In the spirit of solidarity, our Advocacy coordinator accompanied Nadzeya Husakouskaya to the Ukranian Embassy in Pretoria, in order to submit a letter stating activists’ disapproval at the prohibition of proganda of homosexuality bill in Ukraine.
* 12 October: Transgender and Intersex Africa had a visit from Flavian Rhode from Positive Vibes, one of the managers and organisers of the Southern African LGBTI capacity development programme( Twafika). We met to discuss the organisation’s capacity development plans and how to make the organisation better for you.
*13-15 October: we are busy with fundraising, media interviews and support group activation.