We have an amazing opportunity to create global dialogue and cultural exchange for South African and North American trans communities, and we need your help to make it happen!
Charmain Hulme is a mother of three children, including a transgender son, who lives in South Africa. She is close to completing her Master’s degree in psychology, runs support groups for parents of transgender children, and is a member of Gender DynamiX, the first African-based organization advocating for the rights of transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming people.
Charmain would like to present at Gender Odyssey Family, and her only obstacle is the expense of travel from South Africa: one round trip ticket to the US can cost over $2000! We just need a few dozen people to pitch in $50 or $100 … really, whatever you can afford, and we can get Charmain here!
In her own words…
My name is Charmain Hulme, and I am married with three children, two boys and one girl, aged 24, 21 and 10 years, respectively. I am a devoted wife and mother and consider my family to be my source of greatest wealth. However, in 2001, my family went through an extremely difficult period. My husband abruptly lost his business and we ultimately lost everything we owned. At the same time, my oldest child, after a suicide attempt, disclosed to us that he was really a man in a woman’s body. What a shock! It was a very hard and trying period for our family. But, I believe it is not the trials and tribulations that come our way, but how we deal with them that really matters. It has taken my family a while but we have picked up the pieces and are once again making a life for ourselves.
My transgender son has developed into an amazing young man! He worked three jobs in order to make enough money to go to the US and study film. He’s often gone without food and slept on floors in order to continue his studies. That hard work and dedication earned him the possibility of a work visa and, I’m proud to say, he’s on Dean’s role with a 98% aggregate!
I too am in the process of completing my Master’s degree in Psychology. I am actively involved in many areas of our community making sure that policies are put into place to protect our vulnerable and marginalised minority groups. I run support groups for parents of transgender children and am a member of the All African Gender Dynamix Organisation. Additionally, I am a volunteer counselor for LifeLine, an organisation that serves those who are suicidal, abused, addicted or HIV-positive. My main goal in life is to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others!
I would more than anything like to attend this conference, as I am certain that I can make a unique contribution, especially from an African perspective. I am also certain that I will gain a lot of valuable information, which will enable me to make a real difference in the field of Transgender in South Africa and possibly the whole of Africa. The importance of attending Gender Odyssey would, for me, be immeasurable!
Tebogo Nkoana and Skipper Mogapi of South Africa and Botswana, respectively, wish to attend the Gender Odyssey conference, share stories of their powerful activism across Africa, and connect with their North American brothers. Please click here to read more about their important activism work in Africa. Like Charmain, their biggest obstacle to coming to Seattle is the expense of travel.
Our goal is to raise $4800 USD by June 30th to help get Charmain, Tebogo and Skipper to Seattle for the conferences. Donations are being collected via ChipIn. All money donated will go directly towards these travel expenses.
This is an amazing opportunity to create global dialogue about trans lives, civil rights, and global communities. Together we can do this! Will you help extend some North American hospitality? Please donate now.