Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Rainbow Identity: a welcome voice for intersexuals

The advent of the Rainbow Identity Association (RIA) is prompting transsexuals and intersexuals to come out in the open as RIA continues to raise more awareness in the community about their existence in society.

A worrying trend of stigmatising and discrimination has kept the transsexuals and intersexuals from revealing their status as people tended to accuse them of being homosexuals.

RIA, which advocates for their rights, indicated after the Trans and Intersex Pride Awareness Campaign at the weekend that the organisation would continue exploring ways of championing their cause.

Rainbow Identity Association spokesperson, Skipper Mogapi, is worried about stigma and discrimination extended to trans and intersexual people in the country.

“We will continue to advocate for the rights of transgender and intersexuals’ rights. We have seen a good number of people coming out prior to the hosting of the Trans and Intersex Pride – an initiative that was born for the sole purpose of raising more awareness in the community about the existence of Trans and intersex people as well as to bring out the challenges and needs that Trans and intersex people face in Botswana,” said Mogapi.

He emphasised that there is a need to change the perceptions in the communities that believe that trans and intersex people are homosexuals.

He maintained that stigma and discrimination of such people in the community has led to some people identifying trans and intersex people as homosexual.

“Trans and intersex is not homosexuality but it is all about gender identity. It’s about how one sees him or herself. It is not about sexuality,” stressed Mogapi.

He explained that there is need to give faith to the community about their existence. Mogapi is confident that their existence will motivate others who have not yet accepted themselves as transsexual and intersexual to appreciate themselves.

He was concerned that stigma and discrimination among them was compelling them to hide from revealing and appreciating who they are because society always refers to them as homosexual.

“Sometimes it is very difficult for them to identify themselves because they are born with male and female genitals. And their families can raise a child as a boy not knowing that they are raising a girl only to realise when that child grows up,” said Mogapi.

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