International

Trans community launches Queerstion magazine

Queerstion website on the International Transgender Day of Visibility. (Click the image to visit the website.)

Queerstion website as it appeared on 2017’s International Transgender Day of Visibility. (Click the image to visit the website.)

The African Transdiverse community today launched the online magazine Queerstion, making its debut on the International Transgender Day of Visibility.

The logo of Queestion includes the word "Pamoja," which means "together" or "unity" in Swahili.

The logo of Queerstion includes the word “Pamoja,” which means “together” or “unity” in Swahili.

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.” 

Queerstion Media is a registered non-profit initiative by African transdiverse (transgender, gender non-conforming, queer and intersex) activists in Sweden collaborating with transdiverse activists in Sub-Saharan Africa. Founder Miles Tanhira is on the left in this photo.

Queerstion Media is a registered non-profit initiative by African transdiverse (transgender, gender non-conforming, queer and intersex) activists in Sweden collaborating with transdiverse activists in Sub-Saharan Africa. Founder Miles Tanhira is on the left in this photo.

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. 

Tanhira stated:

“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.”

Articles in this blog by Miles Rutendo Tanhira:

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