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GENDER IDENTITY DISORDER AND GENERAL PUBLIC AWARENESS

In the recent past, the Kenyan public has had to get to terms with claims of people they knew as men, raised and excelled in the world of men as men, demanding rights to be officially recognized as women, and to be treated with dignity. the first story of Andrew, Now Audrey, kept most FM stations engaging citizens on what they thought about it and what they thought in particular about claims by Andrew to have his official names changed in all his certificates. Wednesday this week also saw another man, Nthungi, win a court battle over what he alleged as harassment by police and interference with his privacy. Audrey seemed supporting Nthungi, and indicated that a strong lobby group with membership of 40, represented nationally has been formed to advocate for the rights of all persons struggling with transgender issues.

Since the issue of transgender is stigmatized in communities,in families and in nations, not many people are willing to come out and talk about it. families with transgender children have been despised, and in most cases transgendered children have been treated as abnormal and cursed. As this subject came into the limelight...i saw a nations puzzled not knowing what to do with the issue. the courts have show impartiality in addressing the issue with regard to Nthungi's case, but a lot needs to be done to educate the larger populace on the subject.

Audrey and Nthungi are just lucky ones who can get access to media and legal services. there are many out there whose issues may never be verbalized for fear of ridicule and discrimination. the following issues stand out;

issues of identity struggle-
dignity
sense of belonging
recognition
validation
support

I am sure that with sensitization, awareness, and affirmation, this will bring changes in the way many people perceive people with transgender identity struggles within and among us.

Find below summary one story in the daily newspaper of Wednesday 19th June, 2013.

By PAUL OGEMBA pogemba@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted Wednesday, June 19 2013 at 23:30
Despite what he went through, Nthungi on Wednesday said he would no longer be stressed by the events of that ill-fated day although he suffered stigma and ridicule from neighbours.

“I always feel more of a woman than a man. At times it used to affect me and I had to skip my business due to the discrimination,” Nthungi said. “I am happy my family understands me and they have accepted me as I am.”

Audrey has started a lobby group to advocate for the rights of transgender persons, which is at an advanced stage of registration with the NGO board.

Another transgender victim, Audrey decided to form the Transgender Education and Advocacy lobby group after hearing first-hand accounts of people going through the trauma of trying to change their sexual identity.

“We currently have over 40 members across the country,” Audrey said. “Our mission is to reduce the stigma and tell the transgender victims that we are stronger together”.

On the outcome of Nthungi’s case, Audrey said: “Although we are happy about the judgment, the judge should have compelled the police to offer a public apology. Sometimes it’s not about being compensated with money but being recognised as human.”

Comments

Kim Crane's picture

"Sometimes it’s not about

"Sometimes it’s not about being compensated with money but being recognised as human.” This is a very powerful idea. Thank you for sharing Audrey's voice and for raising your own voice on behalf of the transgendered individuals who are often threatened and intimidated into silence.

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