The lives of Pretoria’s transgender people are set to change for the better with the arrival of a new non-profit organisation, Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA). This transgender and intersex oriented organisation was founded by Tebogo Nkoana, a black post op transgender activist, early last year.
The group is currently in the process of being registered by the authorities.
Tebogo Nkoana said the reason for starting a trans organisation in Pretoria was, “Transgender and Intersex issues have been very taboo in the black community, especially black townships and rural areas.”
He added that there is a huge gap within the transgender and intersex movement in South Africa and that one of the identified challenges was language and culture differences.
“We as TIA strongly felt that we need an organisation that will be serving for black trans and intersex community in particular, because we realised that the language and applicable terminologies are not easily translated in our mother tongue hence many of transgender and intersex individuals could not express themselves at a comfortable level. Pretoria was chosen as a central area that most provinces can reach easily,” he said.
He commented that after registration, the organisation will address issues of interest to the trans community and “help TIA to reach our goal of raising awareness and enhancing the trans and intersex movement in South Africa.
“TIA’s formation has been hope of many transgender and intersex individuals, especially those of Gauteng Province. Ever since we received our first funding, our office became home of hope.”
He said TIA “is a dream comes true. My passion is around black transgender issues and empowering intersex people to drive their own agenda.”
TIA focuses primarily on trans and intersex issues as a whole. Nkoana explained, “Our relationship with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual (LGB) organisations is to voice or highlight trans and intersex issues within their space so that we can have a balanced movement.”
He said that TIA’s way forward, they will make show that trans and intersex issues are on the agenda and represented by them as the organisation. Most importantly we are going to educate black community about the reality of being trans and intersex people.
TIA was initiated by black transgender individuals to focus on black transgender and intersex issues in South Africa. Its aim is to break the silence and stop ignorance about the existence of the black Transgender and Intersex community in South Africa especially in the rural areas and black townships.
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