Activists launch website to document trans and intersex African history


A group of activists have launched an initiative to document and preserve the history of trans and intersex Africans and their struggle for equality. The Trans and Intersex History Africa website is an affair of the heart of the four main curators, who hail from South Africa and Uganda.

Activists launch new website to document African transgender and intersex history
Activists document the history of trans and intersex communities in Africa from 1992 to 2016. (Photo courtesy of Trans and Intersex History Africa)

The site aims to be an evolving and interactive resource documenting the history of trans and intersex Africans from 1992 – the year the curators identify as the emergence of trans and intersex activism as distinct from gay and lesbian activism – through 2016.

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“The emergence and knowledge of and about trans and intersex organizations, activism, advocacy and even the existence of individuals is a fairly recent concept on the African continent. Until recently and in 2000, there was no awareness or credible knowledge of this demographic or community members,” said a press release announcing the new website.

The Trans and Intersex History Africa logo
The Trans and Intersex History Africa logo

“LGBTIQ history has largely been silent about African trans and intersex people, with the exception of scandalized portrayals of trans women, who, according to the media in many African countries, are viewed only as ‘female scammers’ committing fraud or being reduced to a spectacle be humorous. Several scholars have endeavored to build a body of knowledge about the existence of homosexuality, same-sex relationships and gender non-conformities in a pre-colonial era across Africa.

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Trans and Intersex History Africa is the work of four activists Julius Kaggwa and Victor Mukasa from Uganda and Liesl Theron and Gabrielle La Roux from South Africa. Each has a long history of leading organizations and projects to benefit the trans and intersex communities.

“This whole revolution in consciousness and the emergence of the trans and intersex movement was playing out before us. Liesl, Julius, Victor and Gabrielle were there and witnessed an era before and during the formation of the movement.”

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All curators work on the site on a voluntary basis, but all seek to build on the stories already collected and collated in the site’s impressive Timeline of Events in Trans and Intersex History in Africa. They are also actively seeking stories from trans and intersex activists to contribute to the site.

For more information, visit Trans and Intersex History Africa or follow them on Facebook.





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