Bongi, South Africa

Bongi, South Africa; portrait by Gabrielle Le Roux; courtesy of Black Looks

The Proudly African & Transgender: Portraits exhibition by Gabrielle Le Roux in partnership with IGLHRC has premiered in Amsterdam.  Amnesty International – Amsterdam opened the exhibition on Feb 25th.  Le Roux explains,

The exhibition honours brave transgender activists in Africa who put their lives on the line for the human rights of all people to be true to themselves and express their identity as they feel it.

Black Looks has posted the portraits of transgender Africans from seven countries in East and Southern Africa. Each person in the portraits has also written short self-portraits about being transgender and the exhibit.  Salango Nikki Mawanda of Uganda, one of the portrait subjects, writes,

The situation of Trans people in Uganda is both negative and positive. Positively we have now organized ourselves through an organization called T.I.Ts UGANDA and through this group we are creating awareness about our existence in Uganda also for us to strategize on how overcome our challenges and threat. Negatively, we as trans people in Uganda are faced by day to day abuses both physical and verbal. We suffer from lack of information, blackmail by some of the people we trust and unfriendly health care policies. Inhuman and degrading treatment by health providers creates an insecure environment for trans people, who can’t trust them and that leads to self medication. As that all not enough, we are now going through a very difficult time since the anti homosexuality bill was tabled late last year.

Hat tip to flip flopping joy.

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