Audrey Mbugua

Early this month, a young Kenyan man who has been fighting for the right to be a woman, won an important victory. A court ordered the national examinations council to issue her with a new certificate with a female name and without a male gender marker. Here is her incredible story, in her own words:


Being rooted in sexuality rather than gender, the issues of lesbian, gay and bisexual people are completely different from those of transgender people, writes Audrey Mbugua.


In the aim of strengthening their cause, gay rights activism often compromises the identity and struggle of transgender people by lumping the two communities’ issues together, writes Audrey Mbugua.

cc The struggle against gender oppression in Kenya endures. Following the recent unlawful arrest and assault of a transgender woman in the country, Audrey Mbugua voices the subordination of those who do not comply with the restrictive gender-based identities adopted by society at large. Mbugua unlaces these societal constructs that tie their subjects to an existence of more


Religious fundamentalism in Kenya has played a central role in the orchestration of gross human rights abuses against transsexuals and other minorities, writes Audrey Mbugua. Urging people to change their mentality, Mbugua argues that ‘we need to respect the human rights of others whether we – or our holy books – agree with how they live their lives or not. At the end of the day, the important question is whether the other person’s acts cause harm to others or not.’


As religious fundamentalists in Kenya stress homosexuality to be 'ungodly', Audrey Mbugua asks 'so what?' Religious-based delusions paralyse 'otherwise rational people', Mbugua argues, and religious fundamentalism 'fosters criminal activities by coating them with spirituality and messages of madness'.

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Just as we should deplore the role of religious extremism in terrorist acts, we must reject extremist intolerance and antipathy towards sexual minorities, argues Audrey Mbugua. Rather than 'surrender your brain' to hate-mongering religious leaders and misplaced fear, Mbugua stresses, we must focus on promoting peace and understanding.


In the face of sustained prejudice, Audrey Mbugua argues for the right of transsexual people to decide what is best for themselves. Having witnessed misplaced opposition to transsexual people's desire to access gender-reassignment therapy, Mbugua stresses that the decisions a person makes about their body are first and foremost their own.


Referring to the misunderstandings, discrimination and at times outright hostility faced by Kenya's transsexuals, Audrey Mbugua discusses the day-to-day hardships faced by transsexual people in the country.

cc Deeply concerned about the profound discrimination experienced by Kenya's transgender community, Audrey Mbugua berates Kenyan society for its unjust treatment of a marginalised group. Rather than creating 'transgender rights' per se, Mbugua calls upon the country to view transgender people as human beings like any other group. Deeply scathing of Kenya's entrenched ' more