LGBT PRIDE month is fast approaching and the international LGBT community is gearing up for a celebration of love and gay rights. Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build a community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.
While the African gay community watches from the confines of discrimination and constant violence, it is important that LGBT persons and Ally’s in Africa don’t forget the significance of LGBT PRIDE and how we can all safely contribute to a more positive future for the African LGBT community.
I have rounded up a few safe and 100% arrests free activities that will help you contribute to the gospel of change and acceptance, take a look below;
Volunteer or Donate at an LGBT NGO/NonProfit: There are a few organizations in Africa, dedicated to defending gay rights and changing the narrative like TIERs in Nigeria, NGLHRC in Kenya and others. Research the ones closest to you and see how you can contribute your time, talents or funds to their causes.
Educate someone: Most Africans don’t understand the concept of LGBT rights and how discrimination breeds violence, injustice, suicide, health hazards and many other problems in the community. Take time out to drop some educated words of wisdom and preach for the safety of LGBT youths, it is important to note that most Africans stand by their religion when it comes to same-sex marriage but that doesn’t stop you from advocating for a violence free community for LGBT youths because any religion that supports mob violence, suicides and killings based on sexual orientation is definitely of the devil.
Give a troll a piece of your mind: Social media is the perfect place to speak your mind without the fear of a physical comeback, unfortunately no one knows this better than the Internet troll. So feel free to give them a taste of their own medicine but don’t get carried away in the drama, remember there are important points to be made in the defense of gay rights and throw in some shade for austerity sake.
Treat yourself (or your friends) to LGBT entertainment: There are tons of music, movies, TV show/series, books and art that showcase LGBT culture in a positive light. Invite some friends for a movie and drinks or watch it on your own, share a PRIDE playlist with your followers and indulge in some gay literature. When with friends, it’s not enough that you show them gay culture, help them understand the importance of the message, correct them with reason when they make homophobic comments and suggestions. Here are a few honorable mentions for LGBT entertainment:
The Queer Eye (Netflix)
Call Me By Your Name (2017 film)
Rupaul’s Drag Race (TV show)
Nakhane and Troye Sivan (Gay pop musicians)
Under The Udala Trees ( A queer book by Chinelo Okparanta)
Go Social: Follow Pride hashtags on Instagram and Twitter to see what the rest of the world is up to all month long. It’s great to see Pride celebrations thrive all over the world. Share your thoughts and use this PRIDE season to be a voice for change.
What other safe activities do you think we can implement in celebration of LGBT PRIDE, drop a comment and let us know.
I know that it is scary to voice out the truth when it comes to gay rights in Africa and I can understand that these activities might make you feel exposed. But, we must open the door to bravery if we expect change to come, so as you proceed with caution, look for a comfortable place to apply yourself to the cause and when you feel down, remember you are on the right side of love and true justice