Anna is a transgender activist, women empowerment advocate, and mental health champion
Movement: Anna Foundation
Anna considers herself to be a girl born in the wrong body. In Uganda, a country in eastern Africa, she was never seen as ‘normal.’ Always challenging socially constructed norms, she recalls how her decisions caused her to lose her family and friends along the way because they were not ready to accept her transgender identity.
"I was chased away from home when I was 16’" recalls Anna. “I had to find alternative ways to sustain myself and it deeply affected my dignity. It was a terrible experience, I felt devastated, and it gave me a deep self-hate”.
Because of these conditions, Anna's depression grew worse.
"To get out of this abyss, I started to engage in risky behavior and was harming myself. This was my lowest point, I spent one week in the national hospital with close ones running away from me".
However, Anna used her experiences to inform her work as an activist regardless of the adverse circumstances of her environment.
"I still remember how I took the initiative to meet a group of trans women. It opened my eyes to the realization that there are more women like me, that I am not alone".
With this new experience came a new responsibility. She realized that her journey was the path of liberating trans women in Uganda. Through a support group of reflection and storytelling, the team started to improve its self-esteem. Yet, that was just the initial step.
The initiative turned into an alliance of trans-led organizations. Using trans stories to show different realities, create bridges for connection and offer a new vision of the future, the Anna Foundation is offering trans people and allies a space for belonging in Uganda.