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Trans activism in the squatter camps of South Africa

Clint Thomas
Clint Thomas praying with a man who is a resident of Diepsloot, Johannesburg, South Africa, who needs to find work to provide for his family. |

It wasn’t what I expected. All morning I had become more and more desensitized to the squalor, the stench of poverty, mothers fetching water to wash clothes, chickens cooking in pots under homes roofed by tarps or any other available material from the nearby trash pile. There were feces running through the streets, children playing and running barefoot through the myriad dirt alleys without regard for the impoverished life into which they had been born. Such was the scene in the squatter camp in Diepsloot Extension 13, a 4.6 square mile township outside Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Meaning “deep ditch,” Diepsloot lives up to expectations. Over 70% of children drop out of
high school in this area with no hope for their future. The thinking is: why finish your education just to have no job or good life ahead of them? It was in this camp that morning where we walked the streets and alleyways handing out flyers to let mothers know of a new pregnancy crisis center (Impact Baby Rescue — part of Impact Africa, a local NGO) which is now available to them in their own community where mothers and fathers could receive vital help for their unborn child, their family, and even a place to take their newborn instead of dumping the newborn into the nearby stream, which is, sadly, a frequent occurrence in that area.

As we turned the corner, I was hit in the face with the unexpected – a small vehicle sitting off to the side with the label “USAID.” At first, I thought how great it was that our government was in this community helping meet basic needs. But then I noticed three to four people in or around the vehicle, and so I approached the car with my hand outstretched to give them a flier. The female driver asked what we were doing in the neighborhood which I explained. Imagine my confusion and abhorrence when asking her in return what USAID was doing in a community like this when she replied: “We’re providing vital transgender services to the residents of Diepsloot. We refer them to our nearby clinic to receive free hormone therapy. We also have a surgery center available not too far away.”

It was like a bomb had just gone off. Dazed and confused, the pride I had in my country quickly turned to anger mixed with disgust as I realized the United States wasn’t here to help feed, clothe, and shelter the most impoverished residents of South Africa. No, to my horror, USAID was there to push a radical social agenda on one of Africa’s most vulnerable people groups. 

The occupants themselves in and around the car appeared to be in a process of transitioning. One kept staring at me with a sinister look which I interpreted as trying to scare me off for some reason. Spiritually speaking, I could discern what was going on. In hindsight, I wondered if I should have shared the Gospel with them, specifically the truth that they were each fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s glorious and perfect image for a divine purpose. And that their personhood was not some random evolutionary game of chance and that purpose does not require them to irreparably alter their bodies in pursuit of the impossibility of changing one’s sex.

Still stunned at the heinousness of my own government taking advantage of these people in the name of “transgender services,” I simply commented: “Wow, I’m surprised with all the people here who suffer from food insecurity and deprivation of basic needs that my federal government (USAID) would be focused on transgender services. Seems like there are much bigger needs on which to focus.”

At this, the USAID representative driving the car replied: “Oh yes, there are many here who are trying to transition and need our help.”

I then walked away and quickly formed a prayer circle with my team nearby, furious that both
my tax dollars are paying for this overseas and that this was being viewed as a “need” on par with food, water, shelter, clothing, and jobs. Indeed, it is the most vulnerable and needy who have become the targets of transgender ideology around the world.

We see this also in the United States, most notably in our schools, where primarily autistic and troubled students are often targeted by activist school boards and administrators who implement policies that prevent parents from being informed about their child’s expressed gender at school. Alas, it has infiltrated every level of society.

The beautiful African people we met with and ministered to that week didn’t need or care about “transgender services.” They were trying to find their next meal and make it through the next cold African winter night. Talk to anyone who is struggling for survival on an empty stomach and you’ll quickly learn how unimportant “transgender services” offered for “free” from the U.S. government are to them. Offering help to those in need around the world should be focused primarily on meeting the core physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, not the pushing of a social constructivist agenda which does nothing but feed the belly of the “equity” Beast and destroy the lives of our most vulnerable, whether in Africa or here in America and other parts of our world. It’s high time that Christians and all people of goodwill stand up to and resist this radicalism and gross misuse of aid dollars both at home and abroad.

If you stand up for truth and for freedom history will always vindicate you.

Clint Thomas is a Loudoun County, VA father of 5 and local businessowner. Being a CPA and holder of a Master’s degree in ProfessionalCounseling, he has been active in serving his Loudoun community as former Treasurer for local not-for-profits including the Loudoun Literacy Council and Tres Dias of Northern VA. He also served as prior Vice Chairman of the 2006 Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Financial Performance Audit Committee, which was tasked with analyzing the County’s School Capital Improvement Plan. Clint is a strong proponent of parental rights and believes we owe it to our kids and future generations to keep education value neutral and free of politics with a return to renewed focus on rigor, achievement and high expectations to set them up for success, regardless of race, identity or class. He is an avid reader, musician and loves to help those in need.

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