October 2018, South Africa
In 2018, Kagiso Maema was brutally murdered in South Africa's North West Province - just one of countless trans women and other LGBT+ persons to suffer violence in the region. Her body, identified by her tattoo which read "Bitch Makoya", was dumped in a field not far from the tavern she used to visit with friends.
Follow Kagiso's mother, and community in the search for answers as we ask: #WhoKilledKagisoMaema?
Official film launch and community dialogue at The Market Photo Workshop, Ramolao Makhene Theatre, 138 Lilian Ngoyi Street, Newtown, Johannesburg on Thurs 25 October 2018 at 17:30 for 18:00
20 September 2018, South Africa
On 1 September 2018, Gugu (Gustav) Modise, a trans woman, was brutally murdered in the North West town of Ventersdorp. Gugu’s stabbing is just the latest incident of many against members of the LGBT+ community in the region.
A suspect was arrested in connection with the murder, which came as a surprise to some community members who feel that there has been little police response to the rising tide of gangsterism and violence in the town. Iranti has received reports that the Ventersdorp Police even close their premises at night and are thus unavailable to the public.
Gugu’s friends, family and community are devastated by the loss of this energetic and loving soul, and we cannot rest until they receive justice. We demand swift action against the perpetrators of this crime, and answers from the police.
We demand #JusticeForGugu
This was not the first case of its kind in Ventersdorp. In 2014 Disebo “Gift” Makau was brutally murdered in her own home. Iranti tells her story here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3pDqK...
Victory for Trans People as WHO Finally Removes Mental Illness Diagnosis Joint Statement by Gender DynamiX and Iranti
22 June 2018, South Africa
A long and arduous struggle by trans activists and their allies has succeeded in finally ending the classification of trans identities as a mental illness in the world’s most widely used diagnostic manual, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). This will facilitate the removal of one of the major barriers to healthcare access for trans and gender diverse people, and it represents an important advance in affirming trans identities and experiences as healthy expressions of human diversity. Read more…
The poor human rights record of the US, first nation to withdraw from the UNHRC
22 June 2018, Global
The United States of America announced its withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council, during the council’s 38th formal sitting. The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, cited the poor human rights record of some member states, severe criticism from the Council of Israel, as reasons for the US's withdrawal from the group. Read more…
Being trans is not a mental disorder anymore: ICD-11 is officially released.
22 June 2018, Gobal
The World Health Organization has just announced the completion of the ICD-11 and released the official on line version. A link will be shared in the next hour, once the embargo is over.
The announcement does not mark the end of the ICD-11 process, but the beginning of a new phase, focused on implementation and assessment at the country level. The new ICD version will be presented for final approval at World Health Assembly in May 2019. Read more…
MEDIA RELEASE: CJEU rules that ‘spouse’ definition in free movement law includes same-sex couples
5 June 2018, European Union
In a landmark decision, issued this morning, the Court of Justice of the European Union has defined the term ‘spouse’ for the purposes of freedom of movement for the first time.
The CJEU judgment confirms that same-sex spouses of EU citizens are included in the definition, after a positive recommendation from the case’s Advocate General in January. Read more...
On International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT), we stand with Ricky Nathanson. Ricky faced degrading abuse in her home country of Zimbabwe, simply for being transgender. She was targeted for using a women’s bathroom, and arrested when she would not pay a twenty-dollar bribe. Ricky is the Director of Trans Research, Education, Advocacy, and Training (TREAT), a trans-focused organization in Zimbabwe. We are honor her resilience and agency in refusing to accept the status quo through taking the case to court and working to ensuring a better future for all LGBT people in the country and beyond. All across the region, the law is twisted and abused by those with homophobic and transphobic sentiments. Like Ricky, we will rise against stigma and discrimination and stand strong in our call for accountability from governments, call for freedom, equality and dignity for all!
Dear South Africa, we need to talk.
Most of us know that the 27th of April, our Freedom Day, signifies the end of an oppressive era. Our country boasts a strong constitution, and is one of the most developed countries in Africa. On this day we celebrate our constitutional democracy and all the benefits that it has brought to us. Yet, how many of us are actually free? Read more...
27 April 2018, South Africa
Lerato "Tambai" Moloi was brutally murdered in Naledi Township, Soweto, at the height of the #MenAreTrash movement. Yet, countless queer women like herself still live in fear. Today is Freedom Day, but the LGBTI community in South Africa is far from free. We demand meaningful justice for Lerato! We demand freedom! Watch on YouTube.
VIDEO South African Hate Crimes: Nonki Smous
27 April 2018, South Africa
South Africa's LGBTI community has suffered a spate of hate crimes in recent years. This Freedom Day, we call for justice for Nonki Smous who was murdered and burned, shocking the community of Kroonstad! Watch on YouTube.
VIDEO South African Hate Crimes: Lesley Makousa
27 April 2018, South Africa
On Freedom Day we remember Lesley Makousa, who was brutally murdered in the North West Province, to the horror of his community. South Africa is not free unless we are all free. Stand with the LGBTI community in calling for justice today! Watch on YouTube.
“Trans Health Without Borders”
debate truly borderless
By Joshua Sehoole and Kellyn Botha
Jholerina Timbo (left) from Namibia discusses the issue of meaningful language-use within the LGBTIcommunity with Pinty Dludlu (right) of eSwatini (Swaziland). Photo by: Kellyn Botha
23 April 2018, South Africa
On 18 and 19 April 2018, Iranti hosted a “Trans Leadership and Planning” meeting with trans activists from from South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, eSwatini (Swaziland) and Malawi to discuss a improving gender-affirming health care. Read more...
FAKE NEWS ALERT:
Death of a lesbian in Mamelodi not verified
10 April 2018, South Africa
It has come to our attention that a story has been circulating on social media and some local radio stations, alleging that a lesbian woman was raped multiple times, and later died, after being put into a cell with 19 men at the Mamelodi Police Station in Gauteng.
According to WHO, 50% of the world lacks access to essential health services and 100 million people globally are pushed into poverty trying to cover healthcare costs. Today, on World Health Day, we call upon world leaders to commit to advancing health for all by moving towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC), as pledged in the Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) 2030 Agenda. This will ensure that everyone, everywhere can access quality health services without facing financial hardship.
Home Affairs vs the heart: Wendy and Nomfundo's story
13 September 2018, South Africa
Wendy and Nomfundo Ngidi-Kessman are a loving couple like any other, but South Africa's Department of Home Affairs spent 18 months denying Wendy's right to a spousal visa. Without the visa, Wendy, who is from America, cannot live or work in South Africa with her partner. After a lengthy battle, through the courts and the media, Home Affairs finally bowed to pressure and validated the couple's marriage with a visa. But their fight may not be over yet...
A warm welcome to Iranti’s Finance Manager, Mmaletsatsi Moeketsi
By Kellyn Botha
6 August 2018, South Africa
The Iranti team is proud to welcome our newest member, Mmaletsatsi Moeketsi, who has taken on the vital role of Finance Manager.
She has years of finance experience, having worked at the Norwegian Church Aid, a key ecumenical grant maker working towards eradicating poverty and inequality. Mmaletsatsi has worked as an accountant and bookkeeper for more than 18 years and has had a passion for the subject from a young age. Read more...
Seamster or tailor
Iranti is looking for a skilled seamster or tailor from within the trans and gender-diverse community who can work closely with us to sew a number of chest-binders.
We have sewing patterns for the binders, which must be strong and neat upon completion. These will be distributed to transmasculine and nonbinary persons in the region, to promote safe and cost-effective chest-binding solutions.
Anyone who is interested should email email@example.com by 8 August 2018 with a brief letter of motivation, and examples of sewing or tailoring work done prior. We may request in-person assessment of work samples.
Last year intersex activists from the region came together to release a statement calling for increased protections and recognition of intersex persons. Iranti is pleased to announce the translation of this document into KiSwahili and French, in an effort to reach even more people across the continent
Botswana - High Court Hearing: Challenging Criminalisation of Same-sex Sexual Relationships
29 May 2018, Botswana
Our comrades at LEGABIBO, have issued the following statement regarding the upcoming High Court hearing which seeks to challenge Botswana’s continued criminalisation of same-sex sexual relationships. We stand with our African neighbours as they continue to fight for LGBTI+ rights, and for human dignity! Read more…
Remembering Nkunzi: An activist,
a healer, a husband and a parent
Nkunzi Zandile Nkabinde was born on 7 December 1975, in politically active and vibrant Soweto. This healer, activist, and trailblazer stands within a long lineage of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex (LGBTI) activists who have shaped and challenged South African discourse around issues pertaining to the often-fatal forms of violence this community is subjected to. Here rests a life which defiantly rejected erasure, and audaciously demanded contemplation and unabridged memorialisation. Read more...
Early in 2016, the Department of Home Affairs met with LGBTI civil society, including Iranti, to discuss progress and challenges on the 10th anniversary of the passing of the Civil Union Bill.
Organisations raised a variety of issues that the Department of Home Affairs needed to address, including gender marker changes for transgender individuals, birth registration for intersex children, and marriage inequality due to the discriminatory provision in section 6 of the Civil Union Bill. This section has had a severe impact, and only 28,6% of Home Affairs branches have marriage officers who are willing to marry same-sex couples.
We welcome the current action to overturn section 6, which has created this situation, through allowing for civil service marriage officers to decline to solemnise civil unions of couples of the same gender. This is the only instance where a marriage officer is entitled to refuse to solemnise a union.
We urge civil society and members of the public to submit their comments of support on the amendment to make it in line with human rights standards, through following this link by 28 April 2018. It’s an important action that will only take a few minutes of your time!
Please click here to send a preprepared letter to Parliament:
Welcome to our Media and
by Kellyn Botha
11 April 2018, South Africa
Iranti is proud to announce the newest member to our management team, Phumzi Manana who has taken on the role of Media and Communications Manager, heading up the media team. As our team grows, so does our media-making knowledge, and in turn so does our ability to document the lived experiences of queer Africans, in an attempt to bring impactful stories to the public.
Iranti would like to say a warm welcome our latest addition to the team, Lihle Ngcobozi, who has taken up the position of Researcher with us. Originally from Durban, Lihle moved to Grahamstown where she studied Politics and Legal Theory, achieving a Masters in International Studies.
Welcome to Intersex South Africa’s first employee: Lungile Maquba
by Kellyn Botha
11 April 2018, South Africa
Iranti is proud to announce that we are now hosting Lungile ‘Luh’ Maquba, ISSA’s first formal employee, who will work closely with our team to promote the organisation and build towards financial independence!
South African National Engagement Report on the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights of Intersex People
7 April 2018, South Africa
Every year on 7 April is World Health Day – a day marking the establishment of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and an opportunity to draw worldwide attention to a subject of major importance to global health. Under this year’s them of #HealthForAll, we release the South African report on the National Engagement on the Promotion and Protection of the Human Rights of Intersex People.