‘SA progressive in gay rights’

2016-08-24 06:00
Pierre Buckley (front, second left) with the group of fellows from across  Africa during their six-week stay in the U.S. as part of the Young African Leaders    Initiative,  Mandela   Washington Fellowship. PHOTO: supplied

Pierre Buckley (front, second left) with the group of fellows from across Africa during their six-week stay in the U.S. as part of the Young African Leaders Initiative, Mandela Washington Fellowship. PHOTO: supplied

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

AFTER six weeks in the U.S. in the Mandela Washington Fellowship participant in the Young African Leaders Initiative, Pierre Buckley, returned with renewed appreciation for his home town and country and pride about the strides that South Africa has taken for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGTBI) community.

Speaking to Maritzburg Fever, Buckley said that South Africa and America share many cultural challenges.

“There are many similar issues that both countries face. There’s a big gap between the rich and the poor and America also faces huge racial issues,” he said.

Buckley said that although America is progressive in many ways, South Africa is progressive in terms of gay rights.

“SA is doing great work. We’re very forward thinking here, which is something I am very proud of. They were very interested in our work with religious organisations and wanted to know more about that,” he said.

He added the best part of the fellowship is the amazing doors it opened in terms of networking, not only for the Gay and Lesbian Network, but personally.

“Things happen so fast there. American’s are doers. It’s exciting to know that things just happen, and they happen fast,” he said.

During his time overseas Buckley said the group of students, all of whom came from various countries in Africa, could not walk around the university campus where they studies without informing campus security.

“There is still a lot of segregation among the races and what we think is bad here is subtle compared to what I witnessed there, it was much more blunt and in your face. The sad thing is you can see so many Americans have lost their identities, they’re struggling to belong, to find themselves,” he said.

Although Buckley recommended the fellowship programme, he said he was thrilled to be back on home soil.

“America lacks warmth and realness. Maybe it would have been different had I gone for a holiday, but to be there, being essentially a part of the system, lacked realness. There are still a lot of barriers that need to be overcome. I’m glad I had the experience, it was great, but it’s important to remember that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side,” he said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.