In South Africa several groups have held actions across the country, as well a s a number of larger public events being held within some of the larger cities.
‘Your LGBT Story is Important’
In Durban LGBT campaigners the Same Love Support Group Toti launched a special Youtube video campaign on May 16th titled ‘Your LGBT Story Is Important’. The group aimed to raise positive attitudes about South Africa’s LGBTI community by sharing and encouraging stories that focus on the ‘good parts’ of life.
People were encouraged to share their stories via email, video or personally. They were able to contribute to this campaign before, during and after the actual event as this is an ongoing campaign.
These videos encourage closeted LGBT when they see that a good and happy LGBT life is possible for them.
It also shows the face of individuality, love and family within LGBT, raising awareness and educating
IDAHOBIT 2015 was marked this year by Same Love Toti, with a video campaign that highlighted the joys of ordinary LGBT. Thank you to all who were a part of this initiative, and thanks to all who attended the launch. You are all such an inspiration!
In 2014, the former PFLAG South Africa, has been re-named Same Love Support Group Toti. Their motto is “Different families, same love”, which refers to the fact that all families share the same love for each other. They offer support to LGBTI people and their families alike.
IDAHOT-Class of 2015: The “I” Campaign
Iranti-org has been working with LGBTI youth in Gauteng and North West province on speaking out against discrimination, based on their Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities. Activists and learners have been collectively amplifying their messages about their rights, their gender identity & their sexuality. It’s also about taking action: What can “I” do in my life, in my school, in my home, in my own community? It’s about expressing and not repressing. School uniforms in South Africa continue to be very gendered: girls must wear skirts and boys must wear pants. Many Lesbian, Gay and Transgender learners in South Africa experience discrimination and find themselves being ridiculed, taunted and shamed, often by those in positions of power when they don’t conform to these strict gender roles. The Class of 2015 are claiming their freedom of gender expression and protection of their rights, by engaging in different activities that will address in raising awareness of homophobia and transphobia in schools, at home and in their communities.
The following activities took place in Gauteng and North West province:
• Friday 15 May 2015: Dialogue between LGBTI learners, teachers and the school governing bodies from various schools in Potchestroom.
• Sunday 17 May 2015: Uthingo – The Rainbow held a successful flash mob and dance event at the Daveyton Mall on Sunday 17 May. The street theatre group, Joint Minds, performed ‘Un-tag me’, in-front of 100s of people outside the mall.
Our message was to inform the community “that being gay or lesbian is not a Western invention but a human reality, and we are born this way,” says Asanda Mfede from Uthingo.
Learners dressed in school uniforms performed a gumboot dance. Over 300 people attended the event which was an opportunity for young people to express who they are and what they want.
• Friday 22 May 2015: Tisa Tshereletso will perform a drama about discrimination and bullying faced by LGBTI learners. The events will take place at the Erasmus Monareng and Thuto Lesedi High Schools in Vosloorus.
Iranti-org is a queer human rights visual media organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Iranti-org works within a human rights framework as its foundational platform for raising issues on Gender, Identities and Sexuality.
17th of May 2015 Daveyton residents were glued to the IDAHOT action that was pulled together by Uthingo – The Rainbow, Bokamoso youth and Joint Minds.#IDAHOT2015
They are young, black, brave, talented lesbians and gays. And today they managed to speak to their community members about issues affecting them at school, at home and in their community at large. #ClassOf2015 “I matter, I rise, I speak and I am making a difference” Source: Iranti-org
Additionally, in the occasion of IDAHOT and the upcoming trail concerning the brutal rape and murder of Disebo Gift Makau last year, several groups demanded that cases of Hate Crime based on SOGI be taken more serious. LGBTI groups outside Klerksdorp court chanting “we demand a hate crimes legislation now!”
The Embassy of France in Pretoria, the French Institute of South Africa and the Alliances Françaises of Johannesburg and Pretoria banded together to celebrate the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia 2015.
Launch of a landmark guide at the Alliance Française of Johannesburg
On 15 May, the Alliance Française (AF) of Johannesburg hosted the launch of the landmark Guide “Equality is Everyone’s Business: Eliminating Homophobia and Transphobia in South African Workplaces”. Jointly organized by the Embassy of France in South Africa, the Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA) association and the AF of Johannesburg, the event was opened by the Ambassador of France in South Africa and Lesotho Elisabeth Barbier.
Ambassador Barbier attended the panel discussion on tackling discrimination against lesbian and gender nonconforming women in the workplace, with representatives from GALA, the Labour Research Service (LRS), COSATU, the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) and the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL), which was followed by an interactive debate.
“Equality is Everyone’s Business” is a straightforward guide for workers, employers, HR managers, trade unions and NGOs. It provides accurate information on labour laws and relevant policies, as well as advice on raising a complaint, seeking help or responding to cases of discrimination.
Cultural events and discussion at the Alliance Française of Pretoria
On 17 May, Ambassador Barbier welcomed the public at the Alliance Française of Pretoria, for a musical concert (Marcia Moon and Gaellou Greenwood), an art & photography exhibition (Izanne Wiid and Marcia Moon) and a discussion on the problems faced by Migrant LGBTI in Southern Africa and the rest of the world. The event was organized by the AF Pretoria and the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS), in partnership with the University of Pretoria.
Ambassador Elisabeth Barbier’s speech, on May 17
The High Commission to Canada in South Africa have pledged their support of the day with a special online message, as well as support for local events in the area.
We will be marching from Kuyasa Train Station in Khayelitsha to the Wetlands Park, Makhaza, from 10am to 3pm. At the Wetlands Park there will be speeches and entertainment from various artists.
There will be an Afterparty at Buyelembo which is a local venue that is LGBTIQA friendly.
You can find more details and updates here.