Transgender asylum seekers, escaping countries that would otherwise sentence them to death for their gender expression, are forced to express traits to prove their gender identity to asylum officials in order to attain relative safety. Anti-homosexual laws exist in over 70 countries, a majority of the concentration of these laws are in Africa and west Asia (ilga.org). South Africa exists as a bit of a gay haven in the sense that there are constitutional protections for LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) people and, according to ILGA (The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association), the only country in Africa with such protections. As transgender social movements gain traction, awareness is increased, but the data is centric on the countries and cultures with such movements and therefore builds a false narrative about gender identities.

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RIT – Main Campus

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2023 recipient of the Mary C. Sullivan Women & Gender Studies Writing Award