Shifting Perceptions continues. Kat’s resilience is impeccable and admirable.
Reasons why I wanted to do these mini-series stories, is because we’re not educated enough on Transgender issues and sensitivity.
Small things such as pronouns and asking sensitive questions to someone who is going through their transition. We need to watch ourselves. Even if you’re in the LGBTQI+ community.
We need to watch how folks in the community are quick to silence the “T” or “Q”. The passive transphobia almost slipping past our own tounges and not being aware of their presence in our spaces. Even if you are aware, how are we making sure that we’re not being violent in our mannerism and conduct?
Some people in the LGBTQI+ community still perpetuate cisheteropatriarchy. How will we disrupt the normative views? Especially in the creative industry?
You might know Kat as “Katboymeetsgirl” – the name says it all. Kat has been in her transition and has been fully aware of her sexuality and gender identity from a very young age.
I got to spend some time with her in the past weekend, and I’m very grateful for that because it has allowed me to shape this piece with a better understanding.
Kat is a LISOF student based in Pretoria. Besides studying, she’s a self-taught make-up artist and stylist.
I caught up with her for a few questions and got to kiki with the good sis.
1. I know asked this question before. But I need to know where your headspace is with our current climate – what’s your view on the LGBTIQ+ community in South Africa?
What I think of our community is… that there’s not a lot of unity, especially being a transgender amongst gay men, they will make you feel like you’re not woman enough to be a woman. There’s a lack of understanding of each others’ dynamics as a whole community. I’ve never been entirely accepted by a lot of gay, transgender, and lesbians because of the person I am.
I’m not my medical situation, I’m a woman first and most people in our community don’t get that. Not everyone has to be an activist to be validated as a “South African Transgender woman”. I believe that I don’t have to voice out my issues and what I think needs to change, selfish people are the happiest and that’s me. I’m very selfish with my happiness. The LGBTIQ stands by itself and will always be a strong community because of what it stands for, but there should be more unity within the community. Then our rainbow will make sense.
2. A lot of people don’t understand the transition. Is there any advice you would give to someone who is going through their own transition?
My advice is: start now rather than later ’cause the process in South Africa takes forever, therefore you’ll need all the time in the world.
Don’t be afraid to live the life you want to live, transitioning is not only about the way you look, there’s more to transitioning than just looking like a woman. Transitioning is not easy but it can be done. You have to be patient and make sure you make yourself happy before anything else. But first, the transition starts with knowing what you want.
3. Education around Transgender issues needs to be prioritised, do you think there are enough programs in SA that aim to do that?
I don’t think there are enough programmes but there are people doing the education, which is a good start. The process takes time. Especially in our country, which frustrates me but I believe that I’m enough information, or a good example rather, for the next person who is curious and wants to understand what it means being transgender. I believe that I’m capable of making the slightest difference by just being open about being a transgender woman and that’s the power I think we have.
Follow Kat on Instagram: @katboymeetsgirl
Side note, you can listen to Kat’s top 3 favourite songs:
- Brenda Fassie – Bad Girl
- Iamddb – Shade
- KAYTRANADA – You’re the one.
With that said, do leave a comment below or tweet me and let’s talk about how we can be better at being a community and having unity. Understanding that there are dynamics and we should be decolonising our own community from these constructs.