Yaya takes victory for the transgender community
Transgender rights activist and famous publicist Yaya Mavundla has taken a new step in her journey.
She has now been legally recognized as a woman after obtaining a new ID number from the Home Office.
Speaking to Instagram, Mavundla broke the news to her followers on Wednesday, saying, “I have received my new ID number which identifies me as a WOMAN. So much is about to happen for us transgender people. We’re a little closer, I’m encouraging more trans people to go there and apply. “
She applied for her new ID number in November last year and Home Affairs gave her some hassle when they first told her that they couldn’t help her because she didn’t have a copy of her mother’s ID, which she never had the chance to meet.
“They told me they couldn’t help me without one and I said ‘no it’s okay. If you say you can’t help me then I’m more than happy to wear this case in court. I was ready to fight. I want justice done, not just for myself but for many other trans people as well, “she said.
Mavundla was then informed that she could obtain an affidavit indicating that she did not have these documents. This then helped her to the next step.
“If they had been adamant that they wouldn’t help me, I would have been more than happy to take the case to court,” Mavundla said.
Born and raised in Kranskop, a small town in KwaZulu-Natal, Mavundla, who comes from a largely rural background, said she has always wanted trans visibility, so this breakthrough speaks to people who come from those spaces.
She began her activism work on LGBTI communities when she joined the Durban Lesbian and Gay Community Health Center as a youth leader from 2009 to 2011. When she began the process of obtaining a new ID number so she could apply for one, she realized it was not an easy trip.
“I realized that after starting the process last year with Home Affairs, it is certainly not an easy process for the average person sitting at home. Being on TV and being in the public eye helped me go through the process.
“I’ve had access to a lot of people in Home Affairs through the show, but can you imagine one person who doesn’t have access, who has to stand in line and sit there for hours and face the attitude of those responsible for Home Affairs?
“While I’m grateful and happy that this is happening to me now, I’m not fully excited because I’m now thinking, what happens then to a trans person who doesn’t have this access?” ” she said.
She added that there are many factors that come into play for trans people who want to be legally granted the gender recognition they want.
“I have been asked to provide a copy of my mother’s ID, so if I have never had the opportunity to meet my mother, where can I get a copy of her ID? What then happens to a trans who has no relationship with his parents because of his gender? Where does that leave us?
Although she has not yet requested her ID, her new ID number indicates that she is female and she will now be able to apply as a female.
“When you request one (ID), it is treated as a replacement for the old one. It’s almost like you’ve lost your ID card and gone looking for a new one, ”she said.
On what still needs to be done, Mavundla said we need to get the government to do more work.
“A lot of South Africans pay taxes so the work can be done. We don’t pay taxes to get relief, we don’t pay taxes to struggle when we have to go to the clinic or to a public hospital. If we don’t get these services, it means the government is not at work. We must therefore put pressure on the government so that these services are granted to us, ”she said.
According to Pierre Brouard, Acting Director at the Center for Sexualities, AIDS and Gender at the University of Pretoria, people have long had the ability to change their gender marker on their ID and that requires you to get a new identity. number because currently the way our ID numbers work is that they mean if you are male or female.
“Obviously, for a trans person who doesn’t identify with the sex assigned at birth, it’s painful, and under our legal system people are now allowed to legally change their gender marker. The system also allows you to change your name to match your chosen or new identity, ”he said.
According to him, the challenge presented in a number of spheres is that there is a gap in terms of the initial application process and the actual changes made. It may take a few years in some cases.
“Indeed, you live in a kind of limbo because you present your gender identity to the world, but your ID shows the gender that has been assigned to you. And so, your workplace systems operate from your legal identity. Access is also a big issue, as not everyone has access to these systems. It is one thing to have legislation in place. It is quite another to have access to these legal systems for personal benefit, ”said Brouard.
On what still needs to be done, he thinks issues concerning LGBTI people need to be handled sensitively.
“Trans issues are approached in a way that is click bait where they are salacious, disrespectful and demeaning to people. And I think presenting trans issues in a thoughtful and respectful way would be part of the solution, ”she said.
Now that she is recognized as a woman, Mavundla said she will apply for her new ID card on Monday.