By Sindiso Dube
Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community, say they have more to offer to the world than just being labelled on the basis of their sexual orientation and being discriminated against by society.
LGBTI also refers to persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions or sex characteristics.
The world commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT) on May 17, aiming to coordinate international events that raise awareness of LGBTI rights violations and stimulate interest in LGBT rights work worldwide.
For more than 30 years, IDAHOBIT has been celebrated, uniting millions of people globally in support of the recognition of human rights for all, irrespective of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression and sex characteristics.
This year’s IDAHOBIT ran under the theme Together: Resisting, Supporting, Healing.
Speaking to Standard Style on the sidelines of the commemorations of IDAHOBIT in Bulawayo recently, Sam Ndlovu said the LGBTI community has a lot to offer to the communities they live in, but lack support due to their sexual orientation.
“Our theme this year is Together: Resisting, supporting, and healing. As a community we have a lot of passivity that we offer. We are more than just being transgender, but we are human beings within that and also like our representation to go beyond just that one issue that is illuminated,” Ndlovu said.
“In terms of support, we are looking at allies in the medical field, the legal field and pop culture as well. We have a lot of talented transgender people that should be contributing to the industry and culture.
“The Covid-19 era was an eye-opener for us because it was difficult to move even if you had the clearance to do so.
“It was hard because your documents and what you look like didn’t tally. It was hard for us to move around for basics and most importantly for medical reasons.”
Ndlovu said they are fighting against discrimination not just from external forces, but internal ones as well. Gays and Lesbian Association of Zimbabwe (GALZ) director Chesterfield Samba said IDAHOBIT has helped in conscientising the world on the violation and discrimination of the LGBTI community.
“The day is meant to raise awareness on the abuse, violation and discrimination of the LGBTI people around the world. Momentum is building around awareness, especially in Africa, even non-LGBTI people are joining in the fight, this creates a sense of movement and unity,” Samba said.