2014 Trans* Health, Advocacy and Research Conference

The 2nd Trans* Health, Advocacy and Research conference, themed “Rooted in the past, reaching for the future” took place 31 May – 2 June 2014. The report provides an overview of the conference, organised in thematic categories. The report embarks on a section bringing the 2011 conference recommendation in context to the 2014 conference by reflecting on accomplishments in that period, and simultaneously points to gaps, still needed to be bridged. Available for download in PDF:

​Cape Town Declaration

​Gender Incongruence in Childhood

28 July 2014

​The Declaration addresses WHO ICD-11 proposals for a pathologising diagnosis for gender diversity in childhood, and calls upon WHO to discard the current Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood diagnosis and refrain from replacing it with any new pathologising diagnosis, including the proposed Gender Incongruence of Childhood (GIC) diagnosis. The Cape Town Declaration, developed during and in the period immediately after the recent Trans* Health, Advocacy & Research Conference (30 May – 2 June 2014, Cape Town, South Africa).

Download the document here: Cape Town Declaration, 28 July 2014

New Executive Director announced

Gender DynamiX is excited to announce the appointment of Sibusiso Kheswa as the new Executive Director. Sibusiso has been working for Gender DynamiX for the past two years as the Advocacy Coordinator. Sibusiso’s vision for the future of the organization is built from his in-depth knowledge of Gender DynamiX past and present. Part of the interview process involved a power point presentation to the GDX team on a visualised future for GDX. S’bu’s presentation focused on developing new social justice partnerships and working to strengthen connections within the community with the goal of making transgender, transsexual and gender nonconforming realities a part of the greater conversation about human rights. His dedication to and history with Gender DynamiX, along with his vision for the future, made him the ideal candidate with which to transition into this new period of leadership. Continue reading

First call for the Executive Director, Gender DynamiX

Closing Date: 10 March 2014
Location: Cape Town
Download the advertisement (PDF)

Background of the Organisation:

Gender DynamiX (GDX) is a Human Rights organisation focusing our advocacy on transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming people’s rights and access to services. Gender DynamiX provides information about transgender, transsexual and gender non-confirming identities and seeks to promote awareness and acceptance by means of educating and empowering people from diverse communities, including: government departments, service providers such as medical professionals, teachers, employers, police, journalists and universities. Gender DynamiX also reach out to parents, children, co-workers and people who journey alongside trans* people.

With the change of leadership, due to the founder director leaving, there is a window of opportunity for this vibrant organisation to effect changes that will lead to a new era in trans* activism in South Africa. We are looking for a candidate that is prepared to lead, as well as fight from the trenches. Advocacy is our focus to ensure that transgender people are given a platform to highlight their concerns. Continue reading

The Times they are a Changin’

A Year of Hellos and Goodbyes as We Reach for the Sky

Cape Town, South Africa 16 January 2014

Gender DynamiX is embarking on a new path this year. There are many changes happening as we move toward a new and brighter future. In the previous year we had numerous discussions with our Management Committee, the staff and the community to help us do some reflecting on our position within the history of trans activism in South Africa and decide what steps to take as we enter a new era in our development. The needs of the community, as it has grown in visibility, have also grown. To meet these needs in South Africa and across the continent we are expanding our staff and taking on some new initiatives.

Having successfully sown the seeds to sustain the forward momentum of GDX and fostered the growth of the movement by mentoring other organisations and activists, our founder, Liesl Theron has decided it is time for someone else to take over and realize her and GDX’s dream. In the time before her departure, she has left GDX in a position to hire new staff and fund some exciting new initiatives. Two new staff members have already joined the team… Continue reading

Human rights at the centre of the HIV response


Johanna Kehler, Justice Edwin Cameron, and Michaela Clayton officially open the Human Rights Zone

At the opening of the Human Rights Zone at the community village at ICASA in Cape Town, Justice Edwin Cameron spoke about the need to put human rights at the centre of the HIV response, especially in terms of most at risk populations. The human rights zone is a space at ICASA for critical discourse around human rights in terms of the pandemic in Africa; in this spirit the zone hosts sessions addressing a diverse number of issues, ranging from sex work, transgender, LGBTI, etc. In order to address the vulnerability of most at risk populations, it is clear that stigma, discrimination, and violence needs to be addressed.

Without human rights, the HIV response will always be lacking, as it will just be addressing the symptoms of a broader problem in society; a problem of inequality, of persisting gender based violence, of persisting stigma towards all those who do not conform to societal norms. For transgender people this is especially relevant and necessary. Transgender persons are facing stigma based upon their gender expression and idencity, leading to violence which exponentially aggravates their vulnerability to HIV, and concurrently limits their access to sservices. It’s essential that a human rights based approach is taken when dealing with HIV and most at risk populations.

The Women’s Networking Zone

It is important to understand women from an inclusive perspective; in light of this Gender DynamiX opted to partner in this come’s program, ensuring that transgender issues are in the program. “Women in all their diversity” is a phrase used by Prof. Sheila Tlou when she officially opened the zone yesterday, and the program definitely reflects this, including g sessions on sex work and tansgender issue, among others, and more importantly these sessions are lead by people from these communities.

In order to address the HIV epidemic I Africa, we need to put gender at the centre of the response, and this must include transgender; we need to u understand that key populations are key populations for a reason, and understand where prevailing stigma comes from in order to address vulnerability for those who are most at risk. In practice this means understanding thenunderlying gender issues that fuel the epidemic, especially for key populations such as transgender persons.

Gender DynamiX at 17th ICASA in Cape Town

The 17th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa will take place from today until the 11th of December at the CTICC. Gender DynamiX staff will be present during the conference through participation in different programme. Whitney Loosen’s participation comes due to her attendance at a workshop by GDP+ before ICASA, ans HeJin Kim and Sibusiso Kheswa are attending thanks to IGLHRC support

During ICASA Gender DynamiX will be partnering with others in the Women’s Networking Zone inthe Community Village – the part of the confereonce accessible to the wider public. There will be two specific session about transgender issues: Leigh Ann van Der Merwe (founder of SHE, transfeminist organisation based in the Eastern Cape) will host a session on Monday from 15.30 to 16.30 entitled “African Transgender Women: negotiating feminine identities inthe intersection with African culture”; on Tuesday frim 15.30 to 16.30 Gender DynamiX, as a partner in Transitioning Africa, will be hosting a session about transgender health and the HIV response. Also, in the main conference, Transitioning  Africa will be represented by Barbra Muruga, and she will be speaking at a symposium entitled: “Realising the Sexual Health and Rights of LGBTi People in Africa” in the plenary hall, Monday from 10.45 and 12.15.

2nd Trans* Health and Advocacy Conference: Rooted in the Past; Reaching for the Future

Gender DynamiX is proud to announce the 2nd Trans* Health and Advocacy Conference which will be held 31 May – 2 June 2014 in Cape Town. The theme for the conference is “Rooted in the Past; Reaching for the Future.” The conference will focus on the issues faced by transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming persons in the Southern African region. It presents an opportunity for researchers, organizations, health care professionals, and activists working with, in and for the trans* communities to come together and focus on past and current research in the field, best practices among practitioners and add to the meaningful data being used by activists and organisations to address the health and human rights concerns that trans* persons face.

The three day event will focus on three major themes:
– Trans*-affirming health services
– Sexual and reproductive health and rights
– Movement and community

These three themes will be address through different streams such as research, policy, activism, movement building, skills building, etc.

The three day event will seek to gather current best practices, knowledge, research, etc. and move towards further strengthening an African trans* movement, and work more effectively towards the rights of trans* communities in the region through sharing best practices and skills building. Furthermore, we are seeking to strengthen and increase the skills of healthcare workers in Southern Africa in terms of trans*-affirming healthcare; specifically we are aiming to provide skills building regarding psycho-social support, hormone, endocrine services, and surgery, as well as examining the challenges in providing primary care to trans* persons.

A call for abstracts will be sent out soon, and we are specifically looking for any research regarding the health and rights of trans* persons in Southern Africa; we are including in this any information that trans* organisations from the region have gathered while working in their communities, and are offering assistance with their abstracts.

Scholarships will be available to a limited number of participants, with priority given to trans* activists from Southern Africa; healthcare practitioners working with trans* persons in Southern Africa; and those who are presenting abstracts. The application process and deadline will be confirmed soon.

If you have any further questions email us at moc.liamgnull@ecnerefnocXDG, alternatively

Field Worker – Vacancy

Closing Date: 31 October 2013

Gender DynamiX is seeking a Field Worker, work commence January 2014.

Job purpose

To support implementation of outreach and advocacy, with particular responsibilities for supporting transgender and gender nonconforming individuals.

Key working relationships:

  • Advocacy Coordinator
  • Outreach Coordinator
  • Financial Officer
  • Fundraiser

Location:Saartjie Baartman Centre, Klipfontein Road, Athlone, Cape Town – South Africa

Remuneration: A negotiable package commensurate with the responsibilities of the position and the abilities and experience of the candidate will be offered.

Duties and responsibilities:

• Organising and facilitating workshops;
• Managing individual fieldwork schedules;
• Providing fieldwork progress updates on a weekly & monthly basis;
• Write reports on fieldwork activities;
• Assist constituencies via email and also on a face to face basis.

Person specification


  • Good understanding of transgender and gender non – conforming issues.
  • Minimum 2 years experience working on programmes or projects related to civil society policy engagement
  • Strong understanding of programme design and logical frameworks, including links between objectives, activities and budgets.
  • Understanding of and commitment to rights-based approaches to programming, able to analyse gender, class and power imbalances, making linkages within the work of GDX.
  • –       Ability to engage on social media, ensuring communication and feedback about our work and projects
  • –       Commitment to and experience of working within diverse teams or networks.
  • Excellent communication skills in English and the proven ability to write effectively for different purposes, including programme reports and summaries, news updates and advocacy briefings.
  • Excellent attention to detail and ability to conform to the highest professional standards in developing programmatic materials and resources.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills over email, by phone and in person, and ability to work well with others, including remotely.
  • Strong ability to plan, organise and prioritise work, and the ability to meet tight deadlines under pressure.
  • Self-awareness, sound judgement and personal initiative.
  • Willingness to work flexibly, including additional hours on an exceptional basis at peak times, and to undertake significant travel.
  • Strong commitment to GDX mission, vision, objectives, and to equal opportunities.


  • Good understanding of South Africa’s gender identity policy issues.
  • Ability to work in at least one of South Africa’s other official languages (Xhosa, Zulu, and Afrikaans preferable, other languages considered too).
  • Experience in designing or delivering training and/or capacity-building materials.
  • Experience of support monitoring, evaluation & learning activities, including online monitoring and reporting systems.
  • Experience of events management.
  • Experience of working with civil society campaigning networks and coalitions, and understanding of the dynamics including communication, coordinated action and campaigns.

Application guidelines

Please note that ONLY applications sent in accordance with these instructions will be considered.

1. Please send applications to az.gro.ximanydrednegnull@tlseil and cc az.gro.ximanydrednegnull@rotanidrooc.hcaertuo .

2. The title of your email should include your name, the word ‘application’ and the name of the post you are applying for (e.g. ‘Cloete application Field Worker)

3. You should attach:

  • Your CV / resume;
  • A cover letter explaining your suitability for the position. Cover letters which strongly motivate and the ability to demonstrate the candidate’s firm understanding or experience working with and about trans as a focus will receive priority.
  • Details of three contactable referees.

4. Please indicate in your email where you saw the post advertised.

We will notify shortlisted candidates within three weeks of the closing date; please do not call in the meantime, as we cannot respond to individual requests about this post.