“Urgent, compelling and carefully curated”

Karma R. Chavez, Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin, USA

“Read this ground-breaking book”

Eithne Luibhéid, Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Arizona, USA

Queer and Trans African Mobilities: Migration, Asylum and Diaspora

Recent years have seen increased scholarly and media interest in the cross-border movements of LGBT persons, particularly those seeking protection in the Global North. While this has helped focus attention on the plight of individuals fleeing homophobic or transphobic persecution, it has also reinvigorated racist tropes about the Global South. In the case of Africa, the expansion of anti-LGBT laws and the prevalence of hetero-patriarchal discourses are regularly cited as evidence of an inescapable savagery. The figure of the LGBT refugee – often portrayed as helplessly awaiting rescue – reinforces colonial notions about the continent and its peoples. Queer and Trans African Mobilities draws on diverse case studies from the length and breadth of Africa, offering the first in-depth investigation of LGBT migration on and from the continent. The collection provides new insights into the drivers and impacts of displacement linked to sexual orientation or gender identity and challenges notions about why LGBT Africans move, where they are going and what they experience along the way.

“This timely book…reveals specific meanings of ‘transgender’ in African contexts, and the perspective provided by the book enriches our understandings of gender, sex, and sexuality at an international level.”

Surya Monro, Professor, Department of Behavioural and Social Sciences, University of Huddersfield, UK

Transgender refugees and the Imagined South Africa: Bodies over Borders and Borders over Bodies

This book tracks the conceptual journeying of the term ‘transgender’ from the Global North-where it originated-along with the physical embodied journeying of transgender asylum seekers from countries within Africa to South Africa and considers the interrelationships between the two.  The term ‘transgender’ transforms as it travels, taking on meaning in relation to bodies, national homes, institutional frameworks and imaginaries. This study centres on the experiences and narratives of people that can be usefully termed ‘gender refugees’, gathered through a series of life story interviews. It is the argument of this book that the departures, border crossings, arrivals and perceptions of South Africa for gender refugees have been both enabled and constrained by the contested meanings and politics of this emergence of transgender. This book explores, through these narratives, the radical constitutional-legal possibilities for ‘transgender’ in South Africa, the dissonances between the possibilities of constitutional law, and the pervasive politics/logic of binary ‘sex/gender’ within South African society. In doing so, this book enriches the emergent field of Transgender Studies and challenges some of the current dominant theoretical and political perceptions of ‘transgender’. It offers complex narratives from the African continent regarding sex, gender, sexuality and notions of home concerning particular geo-politically situated bodies.


2023 Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) Humanities Book Award in the category of ‘Emerging Researcher’ (with Dariusz Dziewanski)

2019 Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies (with Aren Aizura)

2019 Honourable mention in the Ruth Benedict Prize for Queer Anthropology

Beyond the Mountain: Queer life in “Africa’s Gay Capital”

Edited by B Camminga (they/them) and zethu Matebeni Beyond the mountain: Queer life in “Africa’s gay capital” is a collection that takes you to the streets, to the sea and, perhaps surprisingly, to church. The book contributes to the body of knowledge on the lived experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex (LGBTQI) communities
in Cape Town. Lesbians from different walks of life will talk to you about safety, take you into their homes, their relationships, and, crucially, you will be reminded of the fundamental historical role of their organising spaces. You will be asked to queue under an overpass with the city’s transgender asylum seekers while considering how Cape Town’s transgender and
gender non-conforming people engage with the “Pink Capital’s” institutions, its toilets, its corners, and, critically, each other. In this collection queer bodies do not sell the city; they shape it, as they always have, intersecting it with relations of power and refusal, transactional existence, (in)visibility, creative subcultural modes of survival, overtly antagonistic to the continued spatial sanitisation of the city as a cisgender white gay tourist destination, and they invite you, dear reader, to come along for the ride.