Community Consultative meeting in Kunene region -Khorixas

 

Kunene region -Khorixas The Transgender and Gender Non confirming community met at from the 3-5 August 2016 to discuss and talk about Issues,Challenges and needs of the Transgender Community in the Region and in Khorixas.

Representatives of 13 Transgender people attended the Session :

The participants consisted of technical assistance from the Founder and Acting Director Clemence Miyaniwe of Rural Out Org who helped and assisted in sending and forwarding out the announcements of the session to the community as well as co-Facilitating the session.

below are some of the challenges identified by the community.

*There is stigma and discrimination within the LGBTI movement because of how we behave,

*There is self Confidence and self worth issues within the Trans Movement

*Challenges of being raped and going to the police and police ask but you are a men how can you be raped and its because you are like that that you got raped.

*When we are arrested for what ever the reason might be the police statements like they are gays and they like sex so put them there,where hardcore criminals are.

*LGBT recruits in the police force are treated tougher and many quit from the trainings

*We dont get any stigma and discrimination in health-care system we don’t have problems.

*We are called Ostrich kidneys,refuse pipe, and moffie which are all derogatory terms

*Our Partners also face stigma and discrimination hence our relationships are in secret.

*Police are asking why are you like that when we go to them for assistance.

*Society in Khorixas is very respectful because we behave as mature people and take part in community projects.

*We dont have any information on transitioning and weather we can transition in Namibia and where this services are available.

*We also sometimes suffer from physical abuse in our relationships and because we are in secret relationships we dont look for help.

 

 

UN and the Ombudsman On LGBT Rights

The UN and the Office of the Ombudsman have spear headed the Dialogue to ensure that human rights are respected regardless of ones sexual orientation and Gender identity. That people from LGBTIQ community are human first and foremost and as such should be accorded the same Respect for Human dignity as per the supreme law of this country.speaking to Denver Kisting the Ombudsman Advocate John Walters said and I quote “I have been appointed to protect people’s human rights, despite peoples choices,if people of the same sex would like to get married ,it is thier choice, whether the country, community ,churches and government acknowledge that .we will have to discuss the challenges ,abortion and sex Work too are about choices. The UN report called on the Namibian government to abolish the common-law crime of sodomy .

This indeed are great times that we live in and it is our time as LGBTIQ organisations and community to engage and ensure that our voices are heard .

WTTN host First community Consultative meeting in the Erongo Region Walvisbay.

 

Wings To Transcends first community consultative meeting in Walvisbay .Transgender community and partner organizations MPower,VHT and SFH.discussing pertinent issues effecting Trans gender people in the region, issues of access to Gender affirming health care,Change of gender marker and identity documents as well the need for out- reach and education were highlighted as well as access of HRT and support systems in Namibia. We as wings to transcend Namibia are proud to welcome Lee Strauss as the Erongo Regional focal person who will liaise with the office and mobilize the Region. We are Proud to have been able to host this meeting and would the other foundation for their commitment and support.

Article in the Windhoek Express online newspaper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trans

Trans rights are rights too

 

Limba Mupetami – Trans what? Why do you want to become a woman? What surgery? Really, how will they change the sausage into a cookie? They do that? My word!
“These are just some reactions I get when I tell people I’m transgender. Some look at me and laugh; others want to be funny, changing their voices and saying ‘hi girl’. Some people will greet you and be nice. Then you find those that will call you moffie as if that’s my name. For me the term ‘moffie’ is derogatory,” says Jholerina Brinnett Timbo – Advocate, Founder and Executive Director of Wings to Transcend Namibia, an organisation fighting for transgender rights.
Jholerina attended the recent International AIDS Conference in Durban that attracted more than 15 000 delegates from all over the world. Here she shares her experiences at the conference and her identity with Windhoek Express.
“The International AIDS Conference 2016 was an overwhelming experience as there were so many sessions, dialogues, exhibitions and engagements that were happening at the same time. It was an amazing experience and the first AIDS conference I have attended.
“It gave me a great opportunity to network with other organisations that are doing the same work. We shared experiences and received guidance and advice on how to approach certain situations in the community,” she says.
Diving into the burning question of her identity, Jholerina says she was given the name Jholer Benson Timbo when she was born in Omaruru. She has four siblings: three sisters and a brother.
“I came out to my family in 2006. It was three years after I had completed high school. The reason for not coming out sooner was because I had friends who were disowned by their family while they were still at school. I was scared. I told myself to finish school and find work so that no one bosses you around because you don’t eat from them or live with them and in retrospect that made my life easier.”
When she came out she identified herself as a gay man, but wasn’t completely happy with it. She says she felt lost because there was so much information available about being gay, but never information on being transgender.
“There were so many different identities and terminologies. Growing up I was exposed to people calling me ‘he’, I really got angry and I wanted to be referred to as she and her and even today I have a fit when someone refers to me as ‘he’. I hate it; it does not resonate with me.”
She says that being transgender is a process of continuously coming out. It is not a once-off thing. “I still come out every day as I continue meeting new people.”
However, being transfer is not all there is to Jholerina.
“I’m a passionate young Namibian who has a creative flair and an eye for detail. Since 2004 I worked in the hospitality industry and even had the privilege to cook for the Founding Father, among many things.”
Jholerina says she has served her country as a chef on many occasions but the fact that she could not enjoy the same protection and inclusion as everyone else, became an issue. “I volunteered at The Rainbow Project (TRP) in 2006, but moved on due to work commitments. In 2015, after meeting a few transgender people, we decided to start a trans-specific organisation that focuses on our challenges and needs and how we can address them.”
“That’s how I find myself where am today and the road has been testing. Many of the issues our community deals with include the public health sector. Stigma and discrimination is rife. We do not have a choice but to use our identity documents when we seek medical attention and that means that we are mis-gendered.”
“There is no gender affirming health care service. Access to hormone treatment is a problem in Namibia. We want to transition but hormones are expensive and not all of us can afford to transition here. I hope our health care can provide affordable hormone replacement therapy (HRT) with a touch of gender-affirming health care.”
In the future Jholerina says she wishes to see a well-sensitised Namibia on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning (LGBTIQ) issues, needs and challenges and is collectively aiming to eradicate stigma and discrimination against the LGBTIQ community.
“Trans people must to be legally recognised and included in the constitution. Growing up I was stigmatised and discriminated against at school and in society, even when I was still in the closet. I was made to believe there was something wrong with me; that I was abnormal and I lacked something. My childhood was stolen from me, my joy and happiness was taken from me and I was denied the chance to express myself as who am. I felt helpless and hopeless, and I thought of suicide many times. That’s why I advocate for transgender people to be who they are regardless of what the next person thinks. It is not a nice place to be in: to feel hopeless, helpless, useless and worthless. I never want to see another person going through what I went through.
“I see a Namibia that is Inclusive of LGBTIQ communities in national policies, programming and implementation of international mechanisms on local level. I see a Namibia that has integrated LGBTIQ communities in all employment sectors with zero tolerance on stigma and discrimination in employment settings. A society that ensures that LGBTIQ issues, needs and challenges are addressed as any other issue, need or challenge.”

 

 

 

The Namibian newspaper dedicated an entire section on LGBTIQ+ needs

Thank you Namibian newspaper for sharing our reality’s and our experiences as LGBTIQ+ community of Namibia and the challenges and obstacles we still have to over come. We shall over come some day. But it all begins with us all as individuals and civil society organisations to forge on advocating and lobbying for Equity and inclusion of all regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. It is Time that the change begins with you my mother’s, my brothers ,sisters, aunts and uncles it all starts with love and protection of your loved ones.if you want your loved ones to be happy and free they we all should stand united as family and advocate for equality and equity for all.
‪#‎MyTransformation‬
‪#‎MyTransJourney‬
‪#‎TransLivesMatter‬
‪#‎Khoetage‬