I first came across Glow in Afropunk’s article, The Glo’wup: the intricacies of being a transgender woman in South Africa. Glow Makatsi is a multi-talented vlogger, stylist and trans-activist based in Johannesburg.
The self described “glitch in the gender matrix” has an energy that is hard to miss. She has appeared on MTV Bases’ recent documentary The People vs Patriarchy and I-D’s Out this world documentary.
I was drawn to the story behind the persona, her passionate advocacy for social justice and how she uses her voice to spread to positivity. Through her YouTube channel Glow shares her experiences as a trans woman living in South Africa. The way she shares her transition is approachable and the conversation easy to follow, with an element of fun.
Glow and I meet in the vibrant Jo’burg CBD. She is tall, beautiful and moves like the world is her catwalk. She turns heads with every step that she takes. I’m intimidated and instantly regret what I’m wearing. She greets me warmly and my fears dies away.
She’s easy to work with – an absolute professional. Her spirit commands people’s attention. People stop to stare and a group of school children giggle and pass crude comments but she responds calmly, without letting them get to her.
The choice of post production of the images was inspired by Glow’s words, “I’m a glitch in the gender matrix.” I wanted to literally represent the idea of the glitch. The layered colour speaks to the different parts that make Glow who she is and it also speaks to her relationship with the internet.