Trans on the streets

“My life doesn’t end here “

I am a trans-female living in Cape Town. Sisonke has taught me many things like advocating and lobbying for decriminalisation of sex work and how to protect myself in the streets when I’m working. I learnt how Sisonke received grants that helps them to provide assistance to sex workers in the different provinces.

I learnt about the importance Safety Check, Self Defense, Dress code, have a list of emergency numbers in a diary or in a book. These tools have equipped to look after myself on an individual level. Knowing how to conduct safely for example standing at a distance at the window. Find a co-worker or colleague that I trust is important, so that I can give them my real details in the event something happens to me. They can notify my family. Keep your money safe. Substance use responsibly as they are a risk to your safety.

Sisonke taught me how to be professional; my dress code should affect the community or the people around. Like posting my nudes.

Some sex workers do not want to listen when I try to tell them about what I have learnt. Sex workers say, “Sex work will never be legal; it will never be seen as work and they laugh.” I just keep it moving, those who want to listen will listen.

The challenges I face is that other girls did not understand me during the process, and it made me feel like I was unwanted. I felt very misunderstood and maybe there is something I need to do. I’m just always confident in who I am.

My life doesn’t end here, it continues.