This June marks the 51st celebration of Pride month which is celebrated globally to honour the 1969 Stonewall riots as well as the work that is being done to achieve equal justice and equal opportunity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people.
In South Africa, members of the LGBTIQ+ community have, for a long time, lived in fear for their lives because of the continued violence that they face just for being themselves. The LGBTIQ+ related murders that have taken place this year alone show, quite explicitly, the violence LGBTIQ+ individuals are faced with on a daily basis.
This month is dedicated to uplifting LGBTIQ+ voices, celebrating LGBTIQ+ culture and showing support for LGBTIQ rights.
Here are 4 ways that you can be positively contribute to the LGBTIQ+ community and help to celebrate Pride month:
1. Reach out/donate to LGBTIQ+ organisations
One way to support the LGBTIQ+ community of South Africa is to reach out to LGBTIQ+ organisations to find out how you can get involved in the work that they do, or you can show your support by donating to these organisations to help them carry out their much-needed services tailored to assist LGBTIQ+ individuals.
- OUT - dedicated to the building of healthy and empowered LGBT communities in South Africa and internationally, while reducing heterosexism and homophobia in society.
- Social, Health and Empowerment Feminist Collective of Transgender Women of Africa (SHE) - born from a need to contextualise the lives of African transgender and intersex women employing a feminist framework.
- The Inner Circle - supports Muslims who are being marginalised based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Triangle Project - a non-profit human rights organisation offering professional services to ensure the full realisation of constitutional and human rights for LGBTI persons, their partners and families.
- The International LGBTQ Travel Association - provides free travel resources and information while continuously working to promote equality and safety within LGBTQ+ tourism worldwide.
There are a lot more organisations involved in this work than listed here. You can look online for more
2. Consume LGBTIQ+ content
Many streaming sites such as Netflix have a genre page for pride month that includes movies, documentaries, tv-shows and more. This is a great way to support work that represents and tells the stories of LGBTIQ+ individuals, and also a good way to learn more about the community.
3. Join a Pride Parade
Whether it is done virtually or physically, you can take part in a parade by marching with LGBTIQ+ community. Search for events that you are interested in watching or taking part in.
4. Organise a workshop/event at your workplace
If you'd like to take your support a step further, you can reach out to your workplace's diversity and inclusion groups or HR and find out if you can put together a workshop/event at your workplace to educate colleagues on LGBTIQ+ matters. You can invite a representative from the above-listed organisations to run the workshop/event.