February is LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex) history month in South Africa and Space.lgbti is proudly partnering with Newtown Junction Mall on 18 February 2017 in celebrating the achievements of the LGBTI community, showcasing rising talent and raising awareness about the LGBTI rights and challenges in South Africa.
Running from 12h00 to 14h00, this event promises an afternoon of live entertainment and bespoke pop up stores coupled with food and drinks from the Newtown Junction mall’s many exciting restaurants and eateries.
There will be Hip Hop performances by the vibrant Prunaja Dahfemalemc and G.K.G whose performances give voice to the marginalised and keep the crowds moving. There are three performance poets: AndriodThePride and Boitumelo Tefo, both up and coming young poets and writer and activist Lawrence Mashiyane whose spoken word poetry has added a new dimension to his body of work. The Acapella group Music Out Loud and singer Lithography nqai and Zee Dynamite will tie up the event.
“As Space.LGBTI we decided to partner with Newtown Junction because of its atmosphere and huge access to people. This will be the starting point of utilising public locations to raise awareness in an entertaining form,” says organiser Mathapelo “Emty” Maliehe.
When it comes to LGBTI rights South Africa has constitutionally led the way both in Africa and the world. Ours is the first constitution in the world to protect people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation and the first country to legalise same sex marriage in Africa. However when it comes to protecting and ensuring those rights, South Africa fails the LGBTI community. Discrimination is rife and violence common, with often little or no support from the police services. Since 2012, Iranti-org, an organisation funded by the EU to document violence against LGBTI people has documented more than 20 murders and countless “corrective rapes” in the country.
LGBTI History Month observes the history of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in South Africa, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. LGBTI History Month provides role models, builds community, and makes the civil rights statement about their extraordinary national and international contributions. Most importantly it raises awareness and dispels stereotypes and prejudices.
“The manner in which LGBTI people live their lives is as varied as the manner in which heterosexual people live theirs. We have lives, not a lifestyle, and I conduct my own according to my faith, values and ethics. We are each humans with beautiful diversity that includes the way we express ourselves sexually, romantically, and emotionally,” says Maliehe.