The African Transdiverse community today launched the online magazine Queerstion, making its debut on the International
Transgender Day of Visibility.
The community includes transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary, gender variant, queer and intersex people. The magazine is an initiative by Queerstion Media an organisation for trans* Africans, people of colour, refugees in Sweden, working in collaboration and in solidarity with trans and intersex organisations and activists in sub-Saharan Africa.
Miles Tanhira, founder of Queerstion Media, said:
“The idea of the magazine was born out of the need to create and reframe the African trans narrative and make visible our own stories, leveraging digital media. In various media and fora, trans people are spoken about more than they actually speak. This platform is to create a space where trans people themselves lead the creation and management of knowledge.
“Queerstion is for, with and by a generation of diverse trans people seeking to creatively and interactively Queerstion, create and re-write our narratives to address unhealthy mindsets. The magazine’s approach is revolutionary, celebratory and conversational. Our goal is to provide a one- stop information hub, which serves as a healthy, safer virtual network where transdiverse African individuals, trans* communities, families and allies connect, inspire and organise.”
In a press release, the group said of Queerstion:
It is not just an online platform, it is a space where diverse trans voices can be amplified through nurturing digital activism. We have our key partners — Trans Intersex Rising Zimbabwe (TIRZ) and Intersex Association of Zimbabwe (IAZ). Our Southern Africa editorial team is headed by editor and researcher Ziggy Nkosi, who is based in South Africa.
Queerstion is run by a volunteers. We have organisations, activists, allies and families corresponding and working with us from Malawi, South Africa, Nigeria, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sweden, US, and UK.
We are starting small, mostly with our own resources, because we believe our issues should not be limited and diluted because of lack of funding. We welcome donations to enable us to continue with the work such as paying for administrative costs, hosting, developing the site further and documentation equipment, and also to assist correspondents meet costs associated with the work. So far we have received technical support from a partner organisation working on secure security hosting for human rights defenders working online. The issue of digital security is imperative for us as activists but also for our readership and contributors. That’s why we needed to make sure that our platform was securely hosted by an organisation which understands the sensitivity of the work we are doing.
The magazine is built on the ethos of camaraderie, love, and a sense of community. Thus we welcome contributors from all trans people, allies and families. We do, however, emphasise security, as we do not want to place people at more risk than they are already in. We also accept stories without real names as well as videos and images without revealing faces. …
We hope the conversations online can feed into the valuable important offline activism already happening in various countries. Queerstion is also an alternative platform for organising and building movements.
“The main idea is not … to expose people to risk but to raise visibility of issues. Our focus is on creative expression, wellness and security, skills exchange and entrepreneurship as well as mentorship. Plans are afoot to further develop the platform but for now we wanted to start with the digital magazine. …
“Trans teens no longer have to search the Internet and see images and stories that are foreign. We want to have an archive of our stories where we can celebrate each other, collectively re-write our narratives and inspire future generations. The ubiquity of the Internet has revolutionised communication, and we are harnessing that potential to connect, create, collaborate across borders.”
In cooperation with Erasing 76 Crimes