For the past 18 months I’ve been working on a documentary called The Pearl of Africa, which captures a personal story about love, hate and being transgender in one of the world’s most transphobic places, Uganda.
I first met Cleopatra Kambugu in June 2012 when I was introduced to her through friends. I was fascinated by her determination to be the first Ugandan transgender woman accepted for her true gender identity. Despite the hate and violent history in her country, she wanted to humanize trans people.
Since then I’ve followed her life up-close, capturing a love story that will become a feature-length documentary. But today I can give a glimpse into her life through a six-part Web series, which sees her fighting for her right to love, questioning gender expectations and being forced to leave her family behind.
Watch Episode 1 below:
Original article –