The challenges for LGBT people around the world can be very different and yet often share common themes. While there’s been unprecedented attention played to the transsexual community in the west in the past year or so, as well as converage of increasingly anti-gay attitudes in parts of Africa – what is it like to be transgender and/or intersex in Kenya?
That’s what Scottish filmmaker Tristan MG Aitchison’s Sidney & Friends accidentally set out to explore in Sidney & Friends, focussing on interviews with six members of the intersex and transgender community of Nairobi. While in western countries, many of the problems the trans* community faces involve dealing with intolerant elements of society, in Africa the issue is often that people don’t even know they exist.
The guerrilla documentary has already been filmed – for the astonishingly small amount of around £700 – but now it’s seeking £9,900 of post-production funding through Kickstarter, which will pay for things such as the original score, sound editing and final mix.
Aitchison told SoSoGay, “I didn’t set out to make this film when I travelled to Kenya in 2013, but by chance, I met someone… Guillit, a transboy who wanted to be heard… I was welcomed into the small community where other filmmakers and journalists had been refused access…
“Some interviews were incredibly difficult. Our contributors have suffered traumatic life events and there were a number of times I had chills at what I was being told. Sidney recalls one occasion he was being beaten by a group with clubs and sticks while his mother just stood and watched.
“He also told me about an incident where he was beaten, stripped, and left for dead in the street by a gang. A kind doctor paid for a motorcycle taxi to take him home. When the driver dropped him off, Sidney’s father turned to the driver and said, ‘If she is not dead, take her away, because I have already started digging her grave.’”
Take a look at the video below and then head over to Kickstarter to find out more and pledge some cash.