Hivos International

Sexual Rights & Diversity

Puede leer este blog en español aquí.

How does it feel to grow up in a completely different environment as a transwoman? In 2007, all of the Netherlands could peer into the life of Amsterdam model and DJ Valentijn de Hingh (27). She had been regularly followed from the age of seven until seventeen for the movie “Boyhood” by the documentary filmmaker Hetty Nietsch, making her a role model for many transgender people.

Over these last couple of months, Latin America has been vibrating and changing: we’ve gone from celebration to mourning, from anger to relief in a matter of days. Just one month ago, we awoke to the news of a murder attempt against our friend David Valle, LGBTI community leader in Honduras and member of Somos CDC, a partner organization of Hivos.

At age 15, Tanaka (not her real name) was forced into sex work in order to fend for herself. Now aged 17, Tanaka has been through what can be simply described as hell, something a child like her ought never to experience. She fell pregnant hardly a year after she started engaging in sex work, and her tales of violence at the hands of men are harrowing and heart rending.

Tanaka lost her baby a few months after giving birth, a memory which evoked tears in her eyes as she recounted the story recently.

The Transgender Education and Advocacy (TEA) organisation recently obtained official registration by the NGO Coordination board in Kenya, a step towards ensuring they operate legally without fear of intimidation.This journey started when a landmark ruling in 2014 by the High Court of Kenya ordered the NGO Coordination Board to register the group.

Hivos East Africa’s Communications Officer sat down with Audrey Mbugua to understand the transgender movement in Kenya and how the journey has been for them in respect to human rights.