Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Travelling As A Trans Person In Africa

BY PRINCESS ILONZE


Despite the worldwide clamour for equal rights and freedom of sexual expression, there are numerous reports of members of the LGBTQ+ community and especially members of the trans community being mistreated and rough-handled in airports all over the world.
The truth remains that despite the covering that international laws provide, there are still about 80 countries - a large portion of which are in Africa- where merely being suspected of being gay or trans is a criminal offence.The penalties range from 2 years imprisonment to whipping and even death. Needless say, as a trans man or woman, you would have to take the utmost care when it comes to domestic or international travel within the African continent.
 Also, considering that being openly gay, crossdressing, transgender or transexual is illegal in most parts of Africa, there are no provisions made to cater for the sensitive attention that a trans person might need at the airport. If you are trans and intend to take a trip to certain parts of Africa, you will need to take some precautions to avoid unnecessary complications at the airport or during your trip.
  
Planning your Trip
 Before booking your flight or making concrete plans, it’s of the highest importance that you ascertain the safety of your proposed destination. Research can’t possibly be overemphasized when it comes to travelling in Africa while trans. It’s important to learn about the laws of the land, find out about local organisations and groups that are trans friendly. At the end of this post, you will find a list of African countries and their stance on LGBTQ+ rights as this is often a mirror of the domestic stance on trans people.
 Apart from what is written in the laws, there are also unwritten norms which govern how you will be received in the place you will be visiting. This is equally, if not as important as what is written in the constitution because it determines the reception you will get once you arrive at your destination.
 In case it might be a turn off, you should be aware that most, if not all African countries, have yet to consciously provide gender neutral bathrooms. Also, possession of sex toys is mostly frowned upon in African airports and might attract undue attention. It might also be regarded as evidence of sex work, which may result in detainment.
 Before you book your ticket, you will definitely look into where to stay. Regardless of what country you choose to visit, it is most advisable to visit bigger cities for several reasons. Compared to rural dwellers, those in the urban areas are more likely to be accepting of people’s differences. Also, your country’s embassy is likely to be located in the capital city of the country you choose to visit. If you choose to visit Nigeria for instance, then you might want to consider a budget hotel in Victoria Island or  the cheap hotels in ikeja both suburbs are located in the country’s commercial capital. At hotels.ng, you can get pretty good deals on hotels. I’ve heard Federal Palace Hotel in Victoria Island is particularly good.

Travel Documents
 Acquiring a VISA from an African country will be the first hurdle where travel documents are concerned. In countries with liberal law where LGBT rights are recognised, it should be easier for you to attain a visa. South Africa visas as well as Rwanda visas should not prove to be too much of a hassle. Otherwise, it would be advisable to speak with a staff of your embassy in the country you intend to visit. There you can get direct information about how best to proceed.
 In most countries, the law requires that the gender marker and name on your boarding pass must match the one on the government-issued photo ID and that all passengers over the age of 18 must provide proof of identity both at check-in and at security. In this case Africa is no different and this makes being a trans traveller rather tricky.
 As of today, no African country recognises non-binary or third gender classifications. This means it would be best to use the information -name and gender specifically- that appears on your passport or your photo ID when booking your ticket. That is, granted you haven’t updated your travel documents and ID. If your appearance no longer matches your ID, make sure you take a note from a verifiable medical practice explaining the change in your appearance.

Packing and Security Checks
If you wish to travel with needles, syringes, or hormones, you need to take proof that they are prescribed. Keep all your medical supplies in one bag so they can be easily screened. If your hormones need to be refrigerated, ask flight crew to store them for you. In case that isn’t possible, carry a thermos with you. You may also want to  consider checking these with your luggage unless you’ll need them in the air.
Most airport security checks do not require that you take of any non-metal clothing items you are wearing. This also applies to prosthetics. However, due to the African norms, to avoid undue attention it may be best to keep your prosthetics in your carry-on bag and request for private screening. 
If you are a transman who packs, ensure your packing piece doesn’t have any metal parts. Also, be aware that a heavily bounded chest may cause unwarranted attention because it may appear that the passenger is hiding something underneath the wrap. When it comes to a body search, the best route is to ask to be screened privately.
  
African Countries and Their LGBT Laws

Country
LGBT Rights
 Algeria
Illegal since 1966
Penalty: Fine and up to 2 years imprisonment.
 Canary Islands

 Legal
 Ceuta
 Legal
 Egypt
Male de facto illegal since 2000, Female uncertain
Penalty: Up to 17 years imprisonment with or without hard labour and with or without fines under broadly-written morality laws

 Libya
 Illegal since 1953
 Madeira
Legal
 Melilla
Legal
 Morocco

Illegal since 1962
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic

Illegal since 1944
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment
 South Sudan
 Illegal since 1899
Penalty: Up to 10 years imprisonment
 Sudan
Illegal since 1899
Penalty: Death penalty on third offense for men and on fourth offense for women
Tunisia
Illegal since 1913
Penalty: 3 years imprisonment.
Benin
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
Burkina Faso
Legal (No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country)
Cape Verde
Legal
Côte d'Ivoire
 Legal
Gambia
Illegal since 1888
Penalty: Life imprisonment
Ghana
Male illegal since 1860s
Penalty: 10 years imprisonment or more
Female always legal.
 Guinea
Illegal since 1988
Penalty: 6 months to 3 years imprisonment.
Guinea-Bissau
 Legal
Liberia
Illegal since 1976
Penalty: 1 year imprisonment
Mali
Legal
Mauritania
Illegal since 1983
Penalty: Death penalty
Niger
Legal
Nigeria
Illegal under federal law since 1901
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment

Illegal in the states of Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara
Penalty: Death penalty for men. Whipping and/or imprisonment for women.
Senegal
Illegal since 1966
Penalty: 1 to 5 years imprisonment
Sierra Leone
Male illegal since 1861
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment (Not enforced)

Female always legal

 Togo
Illegal since 1884
Penalty: Fine and 3 years imprisonment
Cameroon
Illegal since 1972
Penalty: Fines to 5 years imprisonment.
Central African Republic
 Legal
Chad
Illegal since 2016.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Legal
Equatorial Guinea
Legal
Gabon
Legal
 Republic of the Congo
Legal
Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
Legal
São Tomé and Príncipe
Legal
Burundi
Illegal since 2009
Penalty: 3 months to 2 years imprisonment.
Kenya
Illegal since 1897
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment
Rwanda
Legal since 1980
Uganda
Male illegal since 1894
Penalty: Up to life in prison or vigilante execution
Tanzania
Illegal
Penalty: Up to life imprisonment.
Djibouti
Legal
Eritrea
Illegal
Penalty: Up to 3 years imprisonment
Ethiopia
Illegal
Penalty: 10 years imprisonment or more
Somalia
Illegal
Penalty: Up to death
Somaliland
Illegal
Penalty: Up to death
British Indian Ocean Territory
Legal
Comoros
Illegal since 1982
Penalty: 5 years imprisonment & fines
French Southern and Antarctic Lands

Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed)
Madagascar
Legal
(No laws against same-sex sexual activity have ever existed in the country).
 Mauritius
Male: Illegal 
Penalty: Up to 5 years imprisonment

Female: Legal
Mayotte

Legal
Réunion

Legal
Seychelles
 Legal since 2016
Angola
De facto illegal
Penalty: Fines, restrictions or penal labor (Not enforced)
 Botswana
Illegal
Penalty: Fine to up to 7 years imprisonment (Not enforced)
Lesotho
Legal
Malawi
Illegal
Penalty: Up to 14 years imprisonment & whippings (Law suspended from usage since 2012)
Mozambique
Legal since 2015
Namibia
Male: illegal (not enforced)

Female: always legal
South Africa
Legal
Swaziland
Male: illegal

Female always legal
Zambia
Illegal
Penalty: up to 14 years imprisonment
Zimbabwe
Male: illegal
Female legal



Sunday, 3 September 2017

Bayo Adegbite: Alaye Ft Israel Adedokun


After successfully releasing his debut single titled ANINILEMATANILE [INEXHAUSTIBLE GOD] last year, Bayo Adegbite is out with another master piece inspiration track titled Alaye.
DOWNLOAD

Friday, 18 August 2017

Juventuts signs Matuidi


France midfielder Blaise Matuidi has officially been unveiled as a Juventus player
French international Blaise Matuidi has signed for Serie A champions Juventus for £18miilion plus bonuses on Friday.
the 30-year-old player who landed in Italy on Wednesday for his medicals eventually completed his move on Friday.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Zayn Malik not a fan of Social Media


Former One Direction star Zayn Malik who boasts of a huge fan base, has revealed that he does not believe in social media.
 Malik who has 23 million followers on his Twitter account and 23.4 million followers on his Instagram account revealed this in an interview with  VMAN magazine  opined that the internet 'breeds sheep and not lions'.


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Olympique Lyon Interested in Denayer for loan



French side Olympique Lyon are interested in the services of Manchester City defender Jason Denayer .
The Belgian international  has had several loan spells with Scottish champions Celtic and with relegated English club Sunderland.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Bale could leave Real Madrid



Gareth Bale may well leave Real madrid if the UEFA champions capture the signing the most sought after teenager Kylian Mbappe from French champions Monaco.
According to L’Equipe, the welsh footballer is most likely to exit the club amongst the deadly BBC trio.
With the paper also reporting a 'secret conversation' between The La Liga giants coach Zinedine Zidane,   club  president Florentino Perez, and the 18-year old French striker.


Southampton Name Mauricio Pellegrino as New manager



Premiership side Southampton have employed the services of Mauricio Pellegrino few weeks after former manager Claude Puel was sacked.
The 45-year old  Argentine who was also on Crystal Palace’s radar to fill in the boots of retired manager Sam Allardyce, was offered a three-year contract by ‘The Saints’ on Friday.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Slay Queen: Beverly Osu and Beverly Naya slay in Dashiki

Net.ng
Nollywood actress Beverly Naya and former Big Brother Africa contestant Beverly  Osu who also delved in to acting with Jenifa's  Diary, adorned themselves with  colourful dashiki attires along with their big hair and radiant smiles