Category: Recent Engagements

Transgender day of visibility

International Transgender day of visibility awareness/celebration event

Uganda has no exception to trans
visibility, this is largely due to Uganda legal and policy frame work which
does not formally recognize trans people and which criminalizes same sex sexual
conduct. This place transgender persons in a position where they are apprehended
criminals hence increasing stigma and discrimination within and without.
Reference to the HRAPF publication on the Quick scan of the laws and policies affecting
transgender persons in Uganda, it clearly states that the Registration of
Persons Act 2015 doesn’t recognize the third gender; The general framework of
the act only recognizes the male and female genders as the gender markers
available there is thus no provision for a third gender for those who do not
align to the male or female sexes. Also, there is no mention of transgender
persons in the law at all. This makes transgender persons invisible within the
framework of the law that recognizes persons. Invisibility in the law leads to
invisibility in practice thus need to commemorate TDOV to increase demand and
visibility for trans human rights in Uganda.

Looking at the current situation
in Uganda, trans persons are still suffering from police brutally, inhuman and
degrading treatment, murdered, rejected by their families, cannot access
employment and are still discriminated and stigmatized at service provisions
simply because of being true to who they are resulting in multiple occurrences
of problems like substance abuse, depression, mental instability among many
other lived realities and experiences we feel should be shared and celebrated.

Without access to similar
freedoms and recognition as the cisgender community, the battle against
HIV/AIDS among other human rights issues within the transgender and gender
non-conforming persons will always have shackles restricting progress.
Statistics show that there has been no real improvement in the HIV prevalence
rate among many other human rights violations to the Trans community globally.

This event aimed to:

  • To shine a light on some of the challenges
    facing Trans persons in the country and devise collective response strategies.
  • To provide an opportunity for our allies,
    partners and stakeholders to engage with members of the Trans community from
    all walks of life, get a close look at the actual state of affairs, gain
    knowledge and understanding on the unique challenges Trans persons face in
    Uganda.
  • To celebrate resilient Trans activists who are
    positively impacting on lives of transgender persons across the country
    (Uganda).

Needs assesment report launch

Needs assesment report launch

Tranz Network Uganda, organized an event to launch the report on the trans specific needs assessment study. This event was an opportunity to disseminate the key findings of the study. Attendees, all with a copy of the report, got the opportunity to comment on the report and the methodology of the study.

Gender and Sexual Diversity

Tranz network
Uganda launches Gender and Sexual Diversity Training Report. A glimmer of hope.

Recently I was online visiting the corridors of Twitter
when I came across a hash tag #EvenIfTheySpit. Said hash tag was coined from a
statement that a certified medical doctor made which articulated, “Even if
they spit don’t be surprised!”

This was in regards to health care providers’ attitude
towards the LGBTI+ community. I was livid after I read this report
prepared by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).  It reminded me how members
of my community are treated like second class citizens, denying us access to
medical care because of gender and sexual orientation.

So an invitation from Tranz Network Uganda to attend
this launch was much needed because my heart was bleeding for our community. Of
course, each individual that attended the launch was given a copy of the Gender
and Sexual Diversity training (GSD) report. It was rather impressive, graphs
and charts, a clear success but what really hit home was the stories that were
shared during the launch. A Health Care provider whose mindset completely
changed after the training, getting an opportunity to unlearn hate and learn to
first and foremost be a health care provider with integrity as well as a human
being. Or the trans person who went to hospital with fear of being stigmatized
but was instead met with kindness and no rumors about her were being shared
along the hospital corridors. This was a result of having appointed a focal
person after the GSD trainings in Mbarara to receive LGBTI persons at TASO
Mbarara. These realities gave me a renewed hope, now more than ever, it takes
one person’s work to create ripple effects. Despite the dire need to bridge the
gap between medical access and the LGBTI community, people like the Tranz
Network Uganda team are taking the bull by the horns and the results are tremendous.

On a much lighter note, I enjoyed the snacks and drinks
that the Network shared with us, a rather thrilling and intense love song
by our very own Princess Rihanna but most importantly after the launch, I went
home rested, knowing that constant dialogues like this will change the hetero
normative narrative. Access to medical health is a human right despite gender
and sexual orientation!!!

Written by,

Lugendo Tracy Sanyu.