Transgender activist and 5!x worker Waleed Leigh Davids will be one of the queer feminist and trans activists honoured at the second annual Queer Feminist Film Festival (QFFF).
The free event hosted by rights advocacy organisations including Triangle Project, African Gender Institute, 5!x Workers Education and Advocacy Task force (SWEAR), Aids Health Foundation, Free Gender, Gender Dynamix and independent activists takes place at the Isivivana Centre in Khayelitsha today.
Over two days, there will be film screenings, panel discussions involving activists and creatives and acknowledgement of work done by activists.
Triangle Project director Elsbeth Engelbrecht said Davids touched many lives and her loss had impacted members of the transgender and 5!x worker communities across the country.
“We lost Leigh early this year, and she was an advocate for transgender people and 5!x workers and worked closely with SWEAT, Gender DynamiX and GALA.
“Leigh spoke of how poor transgender people turned to 5!x work to survive, and now as advocacy groups we need to move beyond politics by finding ways to exact change in the future,” said Engelbrecht.
Davids passed away two weeks before her 40th birthday in February and was buried near her home in Blikkiesdorp informal settlement.
Engelbrecht said the festival was a much-needed platform for equal rights as it was a safe place to reflect, educate and discuss issues affecting the LGBTQ community.
She said films such as the critically acclaimed documentary Free CeCe, about CeCe McDonald dealing with the culture of violence on trans feminine people of colour, would be screened.
Mcdonald, a trans woman, was incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota after being brutally attacked.
Engelbrecht said her story mirrored that of Jade September, a transgender prisoner at the Helderstroom Maximum Correctional Centre in Caledon, who turned to the Equality Court to compel the prison authorities to allow her to dress as a woman, even though she is in a male prison.