Leigh Ann van der Merwe was born in Ugie, Eastern. Growing up as a gender questioning person, she struggled to conform to typical male gender codes and as a result always felt left out both in family life and at school. It was through another trans woman that Leigh Ann was introduced to trans activism in 2007. Her experience of activism includes being a candidate in the Transitioning Africa Exchange Program from 2010 to 2011. Leigh Ann was also a fellow in the Open Society/Austrian American Foundation/Transgender Centre of Excellence program in Salzburg, Austria during October 2011 and presented at a transgender consultation at UNAids in Geneva during November 2011. She holds a seat on the United Nations steering committee for transgender people in the Global South. Leigh Ann reviewed a number of gender literature resources produced by other NGO’s and was part of the study team on a UNFPA report on the challenges of sex workers in the East London area. She is actively involved with a number of NGO’s dealing with gender & women’s issues, HIV and public health. She is also the secretary of the board of an East London based NGO working with orphans and vulnerable children. She presented two papers at the first ever Gender Dynamix Transgender Health and Research Conference, November 2011. Her paper on Transgender Feminism is currently under review for the New Voices in Psychology publication with the University of South Africa.