FrancisTrans is an independent, trans, non-conforming and queer led group focusing on community visibility, voice and agency. Established mid-2018 to shift power within the LGBTIQ+ movement to rural communities.
The group was made up of 5 young LQT+ people. All of whom have benefited from the impact work of Success Capital Organisation, with some originally serving in one of its strategic engagement mechanisms. In the spirit of equality, all share decision making power, in which the majority vote or consensus determine the path. Having been established because of the shortcomings of current LGBTI work in the country, we decided to utilise this opportunity to operationalise our ideology in a manner that best serves trans people. We were led by a trans lady, with an additional lady, one trans man, one lesbian lady and a gender non-conforming individual. Ideally, the group shares strategic decisions and with the interest of making an meaningful impact, aim to manage this ideology for agility (acknowledging limited funding opportunities and restrictions of organising), affordable costs of time/money/skills and to build competence through practice.
We have since transitioned through change, pain and hurt. Having increased in number, only to reduce in service of achieving our vision. Activism is a persistent political act that does not always serve the fundamental principles and founding vision. Self-interest, misunderstanding and inter-generational dynamics all play a role in our resistance to variant forms of power, within and outside the collective. We understand the nuances of unhealed trauma and harm we experience in our daily lives. This cannot be reason to absolve abuse, harm or trauma to our own, within or outside our identities and circles of influence. Thus, have chartered a new path of unraveling, learning and becoming.
To address the gaps in gender diversity and non-conforming civil society interventions towards increased agency and power
Showcase and amplify the stories of existence, resistance and resilience of gender diverse and non-conforming individuals in rural Botswana, particularly those situated in the northern regions,
- Positioning ourselves against populist ideology, power and privilege through strengthening our visibility
- Remaining radical to our commitment to countering violence and silence on gender diversity and non-conforming experiences through strengthening our voices
- Opposing any forms of oppression and suppression within and outside our collective through inclusion and being politically intentional in affirming gender diversity and non-conforming needs and interests