Sunday 17 November 2019
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enca - 9 days ago

WATCH: Transgender sex workers want equality

WATCH: Transgender sex workers want equality donald.lobelo Sat, 11/09/2019 - 07:04 Teaser Media Paragraphs From a network of blankets strung together under a bridge in Cape Town, a group of homeless, transgender sex workers are fighting for equality. Sistaaz of the Castle is a group of around 40 homeless, transgender sex workers. Courtesy #DStv403 JOHANNESBURG - South Africa was the first country in the world to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation in 1996. It s also still the only African nation to allow same-sex marriage. From a network of blankets strung together under a bridge in Cape Town, a group of homeless, transgender sex workers are fighting for equality. Sistaaz of the Castle is a group of around 40 homeless, transgender sex workers. READ: Sex workers hope to catch the ear of politicians “We sick and tired of being here, where we are! We want to go and have a life, get a job be ourselves, stand on our own two feet. I don t want to get to the age of 40-45 and still here,” said Lameez Oliver. They re credited with success for the trans community including motivating a major court ruling on transgender prison rights. READ: Clinic for sex workers open in Cape Town But a core issue is a lack of affordable housing that limits their options, making it difficult for them to earn a living any other way than sex work. “You get options here of getting - giving sex, trading for money - what you gonna do? You don t have no choice but to do it. They say doing sex work it s bad but for me, I m proud to say I m a sex worker, my body pays my bills and it will provide for me,” added Oliver. Though a homeless shelter that opened last year does have a transgender space, the Sistaaz members of the community - who were labeled men at birth but identify as women - say they are usually assigned to male dormitories. There, according to one member of the group,  men always want sexual favors. Watch the full report in the video gallery above


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