The need for inclusive spaces for trans women in Africa
In conversation with Dr Anastacia Tomson
“I hate so much that we need to define the trans experience through the lenses of trauma, suffering and dysphoria. I really wish we could move forward towards a model where we define the trans experience by wellness and euphoria”.
In this episode, Dr Anastacia Tomson, a transgender woman, and Thiruna Naidoo from the Centre for Human Rights, take the listeners on a journey of analysing the lived experiences of transgender women in South Africa. This episode emphasises the need for inclusive spaces for the transgender community. Dr Tomson talks about the challenges of accessing healthcare and the gatekeeping of identities faced by the trans community in South Africa. She also reflects on the impact of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the rights of Women in Africa, (The Maputo Protocol), in observing and protecting the rights of marginalised women such as transwomen in Africa. In her reflections, she shows the potential the Maputo Protocol has as a tool to ensure that the rights of transgender women are protected. To this effect, the Centre for Human Rights in partnership with Centre for Sexualities AIDS and Gender (CSA&G) worked on the TransMaputo Project to ignite discussions around what the Maputo Protocol can do to ensure the rights of transgender women in Africa are protected.
Anastacia Tomson is a medical doctor, author, and activist, with a focus on queer and transgender rights. She completed her medical degree at the University of Pretoria in 2009, and has years of experience as a clinician in the public and private sector. Dr Tomson conducts workshops and seminars that provide sensitisation and competency training on LGBTQI+ issues, targeting healthcare workers and mainstream society. She also produces training materials covering transgender health. Anastacia is founder of the Professional Alliance Combating Transphobia, PACT and a Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition steering committee member. Her autobiography, “Always Anastacia: A Transgender Life in South Africa”, is a compelling memoir that details some of the defining moments in her life, through the lens of her transition. It’s a candid and honest look into the life of a South African trans woman, and the unique challenges and struggles she faces in claiming her own identity, and living her truth in an often-unforgiving world.
This is a special episode published in light of The International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), a yearly event held on 17 May. The aim of IDAHOBIT is to raise awareness on violence, discrimination, repression, and health challenges that detract from the progress and wellbeing of the LGBTIQ+ community all over the world. IDAHOBIT provides an opportunity for the LGBTIQ+ community to come together and celebrate their unique identities. Transgender people and trans women in particular, face a unique set of intersecting oppressions through the normative regulation of sexuality, gender roles and expression and cultural identity.
This conversation was recorded on 26 February 2020.
Edited by Tatenda Musinahama.
Music: Inner Peace by Mike Chino https://soundcloud.com/mike-chinoCreative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported — CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/b...Music promoted by Audio Library https://youtu.be/0nI6qJeqFcc