On Saturday 15 April 2023, the Centre for Huma Rights (CHR) University of Pretoria honoured an invite to the documentary screening of ‘The Unexceptional Parent’ hosted at Bertha House in Cape Town.

The 22-minute film captures the multilingual accounts of parents of trans and gender diverse (TGD) children throughout South Africa. The title of the film (The Unexceptional Parent) reflects an anecdote by Nicollete Deon, the mother of Kim, a 23 year-old trans woman, who warmly states that  “we are in no way exceptional because every parent must love their child”.

Director and Producer of the documentary, Carl Collison, shared how the film is a culmination of years of self-funded work and engagement with parents of trans and gender-diverse children; in a bid to highlight their stories of love, life and undeniable acceptance of their children. Collison shared how it was important for him to make the documentary free and accessible and acknowledged the support of the Cape Town office of the Heinrich-Boll- Foundation, in helping to conclude, disseminate and facilitate discussions on the everyday experiences of parents navigating life and external challenges linked to the lives of their TGD children.

The film screening was followed by a panel discussion comprising of participants of the documentary. Khanyisile Phillips facilitated the panel discussion on the resilience and hope of parents of trans and gender diverse children under the theme ‘(Trans)forming families’. Phillips encouraged the audience to share the film widely (available on YouTube)  in order to challenge anti-gender sentiments and promote a culture of love and understanding of trans and gender diverse persons.

The conversations following the screening and panel discussion touched on:

(1)the marginalisation and erasure of the lives of trans and gender diverse persons in municipalities, schools and mainstream media;

(2) the resounding need for community support, resilience and education about LGBTQIA persons.

The Centre for Human Rights (CHR) is proud to support and engage in advocacy initiatives to create a more inclusive society and safer spaces for LGBTQIA persons.

Landilani Banda
Acting Project Manager: SOGIESC Unit

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 3151

Mx Chanel van der Linde
Project Officer: SOGIESC Unit

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 3151

Ms Naledi Mpanza (she/her)
LGBTQIA+ Officer

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 3151


 Subscribe to our newsletter