Pepetsa is a 23 year old transgender woman and a sex worker. She came out as gay while in school and as a result faced discrimination from her community. Now as a trans woman, it is difficult for her to find work and she, like many transgender women, does sex work to survive placing her at a greater risk of contracting HIV: “I'm really, really afraid of HIV, but because of the money I get and the difficult access to jobs… to the work and employment, right? I have to expose myself and run risks. I have to fight this fear.” Maputo, Mozambique. 19 February, 2018. Photo Robin Hammond/Witness Change

Pepetsa /

“I cannot tell lies. My name is Pepetsa. I live in the Hulene neighbourhood I’m twenty-three years old. I’m a self-confessed transsexual. I came from a humble family and I started working very early. With my sixteen years old I confessed myself. I confessed myself as a homosexual for my family and for society. It was a very difficult time or stage of my life because it was a phase in which I was still in school. It was not very easy to tolerate bias at school and at work and also in my social life. I suffered a lot of bias at work because of my sexual orientation I have faced many challenges, and one of the worst challenges is access to health care services for being a trans woman. In the course of my life, I’ve been self-studying about the LGBT movement and I’m currently working as a focal point of trans women to encourage them to fight for their rights, and to encourage them to join the health centres because it is one of the biggest barriers faced by transgender women. Before I became a focal point, I worked as a community agent, mobilizing members of the community and their families. So that there would be behaviour changes, and so I work hard to encourage women to take over and express their sexuality in a freeway so they can join the services provided by the government. And today we have the beginning of a strong movement of the trans women towards development.”

Share this story:Share on FacebookTweet about this on Twittershare on TumblrEmail to someone