LGBTIQ+ calls for protection

2019-11-28 06:00
Some members of the Philippi LGBTIQ+ people who attended the workshop at Bongolethu Primary School.PHOTO: unathi obose

Some members of the Philippi LGBTIQ+ people who attended the workshop at Bongolethu Primary School.PHOTO: unathi obose

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Members of Philippi Lesbians Gays Bisexual Transgender Intersex Queer (LGBTIQ+) held a sexual health symposium awareness drive in a quest to open dialogue regarding issues relating to them. The event was held at Bongolethu Primary School in Browns Farm in Philippi on Saturday 16 November.

LGBTIQ+ members accused the community of marginalising them. They called on police to intervene and protect them against victimisation.

“Police are failing us,” said Linda Ntlanga-Siwela, chair and co-founder of the organisation. “Sometimes when we go to police stations to open a case, our cases are not followed up. I was once attacked and went to a police station to report it and the officers told me my case was minor and we can sit down and resolve it without coming to the police station.”

Ntlanga-Siwela described the event as a platform for members to share their experiences and advise each other. He appealed to the society to embrace them as part of the community. He added their aim is to end gender-based violence and discrimination against the LGBTIQ+ community.

“We didn’t choose to be what we are. Other people ended up staying on the streets because they are rejected by their families because of their sexual orientation,” he said, adding that they have support groups where they comfort each other.

He said as LGBTIQ+ they sometimes invite parents to educate them about how the LGBTIQ+ community lives.

Attendee Nkokheli Mankayi described the event as a way of engaging with LGBTIQ+ members and the community at large.

“We are disappointed with the attendance by the community members because our aim was to meet and educate them about us so we can leave together in harmony,” he said.

Mankayi urges people not to judge them based on their sexual orientation.

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