Former Miss South Africa Finalist and Intersex Activist Share Their Stories in New Documentary

A powerful documentary titled “Who I Am Not,” directed by Tünde Skovrán, shares the lives of two intersex individuals from South Africa: Sharon-Rose Khumalo and Dimakatso Sebidi.

Director Tünde Skovrán dedicated five years to collaborate with Khumalo and Sebidi, resulting in a profoundly intimate and personal cinematic work.

The film challenges societal norms and aims to raise awareness of intersex issues.

Intersex people have genetic, hormonal, or physical sex characteristics that do not fit typical male or female categories.

According to some research, nearly two percent of the population is born with intersex traits.

Khumalo’s Journey from Beauty Queen to Role Model

Sharon-Rose Khumalo, a former Miss South Africa finalist, went public about her intersex condition in 2016, aiming to increase visibility and understanding for others like her.

In the documentary, she shares her experience of coming to terms with her condition and the implications it has on her life.

The film captures her struggle with the inability to become a biological mother and her determination to be a happy, successful person outside traditional male and female categories.

Sebidi’s Fight for Change as an Intersex Activist

Dimakatso Sebidi, a male-presenting intersex activist, shares his story alongside Khumalo in the documentary.

Unlike Khumalo, Sebidi had ambiguous genitalia at birth and underwent “normalizing” surgery without consent.

The film portrays the physical and psychological harm caused by these procedures, as well as Sebidi’s confrontation with his father about the traumatic experiences of his early years.

The Impact of Who I Am Not

The documentary brings attention to the confusion and misunderstandings related to intersex individuals, especially when Dimakatso seeks employment.

People’s perplexed responses to their identity demonstrate the obstacles that intersex individuals encounter in society, including the feasibility of utilizing public restrooms and the expense of modifying signage to make room for their existence.

The film delves into the personal lives of its main characters through intense and emotionally charged scenes, examining their interactions with family members and their local social environments.

Additionally, the documentary underscores the contrasting living conditions of its subjects, drawing attention to the disparity in social class between them.

Regardless of their differences, both Sharon-Rose and Dimakatso grapple with identity issues, forming the core theme of the film.

Director Tünde Skovrán dedicated five years to collaborate with Khumalo and Sebidi, resulting in a profoundly intimate and personal cinematic work.

The documentary premiered at Thessaloniki Intl. Documentary Festival and has screened at several other film festivals.

Through “Who I Am Not,” Skovrán hopes to offer a positive message and promote understanding of intersex people, celebrating their lives with humor, love, and faith.

Article In a Snapshot

  • “Who I Am Not” is a powerful documentary highlighting the lives of two South African intersex individuals, Sharon-Rose Khumalo and Dimakatso Sebidi.

  • The film aims to challenge societal norms and raise awareness about intersex issues, affecting nearly two percent of the population.

  • Both subjects share their personal struggles with identity, emphasizing the obstacles intersex individuals face in society.

  • The documentary emphasizes the contrasting living conditions and social class disparities between its subjects.

  • Director Tünde Skovrán spent five years collaborating with Khumalo and Sebidi, creating a deeply intimate and personal film to promote understanding and celebrate intersex lives.

Craig Miller

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