James Karanja was born intersex, raised as a girl but chose to be a man. He is the founder of Intersex Kenya. James shared his life story of the struggles of growing up different from other people. He cannot access simple services such as M banking and also cannot vote because he has an undefined sex.
Speaking to Nation James narrates how his upbringing was, “I was born at home in the early 1990s. I had an ambiguous genitalia and so my mother was confused. She immediately called my grandmother who suggested that we see a medicine man. She had never seen anything like it. Being Christians, they then thought to see a priest, who advised that I should be taken to a hospital. I was admitted to Naivasha General Hospital for three weeks without being named or assigned a gender.”
He had a hard time cooping since he went to a girls school and some of his manlike features starting showing up when he was in form 3. He started having broadening shoulders and his voice broke.
He is now fighting for the inclusion of the of the intersex in the country.
Staunch disability advocate and currently a Nominated Senator in the Kenya’s Senate, representing Persons with Disabilities, Isaac Mwaura has been on the forfront to ensure that Karanja tells his story and also push for the IntersexCensus.
I asked him to come see me the following week, and true to it, he came with Patrick, grassroots community organizer. This person is non other than Mary Waithera, also known as James Karanja. We started the journey by working with the media to highlight the story#IntersexCensusKE pic.twitter.com/60qoCtKgJm
— Isaac Mwaura CBS MP (@MwauraIsaac1) August 20, 2019