With efforts to reduce stigmatization of the trans community, trans dating in Cape Town and other big South African cities has become very popular. Discrimination based on sexual orientation is explicitly banned under South Africa’s constitution, and Cape Town is one of the most tolerant cities with a visible and lively trans community.
Things are Changing for the Better
The number of young South Africans expressing and coping with gender dysphoria is increasing. Gender dysphoria is where the sex you were born into differs from your gender identity. You were born with male genitals, for example, but your gender identity is female.
At first, it might seem like expressing gender dysphoria is not a positive thing. However, there’s more to this than meets the eye. In Cape Town and elsewhere, people are being encouraged to be more open about their sexuality. Schools throughout the city are becoming aware of the challenges trans South Africans face. In Cape Town, tens of schools have adjusted their policies to accommodate trans students’ needs, like introducing single-gender toilets, allowing gender-neutral uniforms, and letting students use names that correspond to their true gender identity.
Cape Town is a very trans-friendly city. Widely regarded as the LGBT capital of Africa, it hosts an annual Gay Pride festival, in which many trans people take part.
South Africa’s Equality Court ruled a trans inmate who was being held in a correctional facility for males could identify as female. This was a landmark decision for transgender rights. The inmate, Jade September, had suffered discrimination and had filed an appeal before the court. She hadn’t been allowed to wear her jewelry, makeup, or women’s underwear and had been forced to cut her hair. The court ruled the Malmesbury and Helderstroom correctional facilities had unlawfully stopped her from expressing her female identity. At the moment, Jade is serving a sentence at Malmesbury.
In a 2016 report, LGBT+ rights group The Other Foundation estimated that about 2.8 million women and 430,000 men in South Africa present themselves “in a gender non-conforming manner” in public. Since September 2019, trans people have been able to use their preferred gender and names in their medical files in a new transgender clinic, which opened in Bellville, a suburb of the city.
There are no legal ramifications of trans dating to reckon with. Gay relationships are allowed in South Africa and same-sex marriages are recognized. All of these factors contribute to the de-stigmatization of transgender women in Cape Town.