THE lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) community of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) recently established the KZNPride organisation at a special general meeting in Pietermaritzburg on October 23 in the hopes of uniting and bringing together all LGBTQ+ organisations in KZN. In a press release, KZNPride state that their objection and mission is to provide a safe and supportive environment that unites gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning communities across all lines of age, race, gender and economics. “We want to bring together all our LGBTQ+ organisations together to celebrate who we are and to help build partnerships and collaborations that celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance,” said Anthony Waldhausen, director of the Gay and Lesbian Network Pietermaritzburg, Kim Lithgon, from Save a life Toti, said that in this day and age the LGBTQ+ community still faced a lot of challenges and that KZNPride has been established as a way to reach the straight community and teach them how to be inclusive. “It is our aim to make KZN a safe place for our community because there are still many challenging factors we experience daily, especially at a school level, and this is why we are trying to encourage schools to allow us to hold assemblies whereby we teach pupils how to be inclusive of their fellow pupils who are different to them,” said Lithgon. KZNPride is registered as a Non-Profit Company (NPC) — registration number: 20184397750 — and is open to partnering with individuals as well as businesses who wish to provide funding for the initiative. KZNPride supports and promotes initiatives targeting the KZN LGBTQ+ community that include: • General events, such as entertainment and nightlife within KZN. • Monthly support and social groups especially targeted at Gay, Lesbian and Transgender persons.• Free or affordable counselling for bullied and transgender individuals. • Promote general awareness of LGBTI issues around KZN and provide resources within the KZN Region.• Encourage networking between LGBTI groups and LGBTI allies • Addressing and awareness of bulling in schools.There will be an official launch of KZNPride in 2019. More announcements will be made in due course.