Responding to the psycho-social needs of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community

News

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Gay & Lesbian Network has partnered with Pride Wear ZA to raise funds for our programs that foster equality, respect and acceptance of marginalized lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people living in and around KwaZulu-Natal and Southern Africa.

We are selling bracelets for just R20 each. We have Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Pansexual, Asexual, Non-binary and Genderqueer designs available.

To get your hand on these beautiful bracelets, please visit our office at 19 Connaught Road, Scottsville, Pietermaritzburg.

 

 

 

Check out our latest news letter! The Gayzette brings you news from the Gay & Lesbian Network from the last Quarter.

We are constantly working towards the upliftment and recognition of the LGBTI community through creative programmes that foster equality, respect and acceptance.

Gayzette- Spring 2017

As a Non-Profit organisation, we rely on donations and sponsorship. This money goes towards the work that we do with the LGBTI community. The Gay & Lesbian Network is a registered non-profit organisation which is Tax exempt and has Section 18A(1) status.

Every cash donation you make to the Network is TAX DEDUCTIBLE in terms of Section 18A(1) of the Income Tax Act of 1962, as amended.

Banking details

Bank: First National Bank (FNB)

Account name: Gay & Lesbian Network

Account number: 62100583394

Branch name: Bank Street

Branch code: 220825

Swift code: FIRNZAJJ (international code)

The Gay & Lesbian Network staff are growing a vegetable garden to help feed the communities which we work with. This has been taken up by the staff wellness committee, and has become a teambuilding exercise for staff members.

Many of our beneficiaries have been disowned by their family and most battle to find work. One of the ways in which we can help is by providing food. After moving to our new office last year, the staff has designated an area for our vegetable garden, and we recently had a wellness day of planting some more vegetables. These have taken off well and some are nearly ready to harvest!  Sadly, we do not have all the necessary tools available to us and we use a polystyrene cup to water the garden. Other activities, like digging and clearing, is all done by hand.

 

We are looking for assistance in acquiring

  • a small spade
  • a small garden fork
  • a watering can
  • seeds
  • compost
  • or any cash donation which will go towards this initiative.

Other ways in which we provide assistance is with our outreach programme, which supports our beneficiaries with self-development, career-development and conflict resolution, through the Zenzele Youth Support Programme.

We also have an Advice Office at the Edendale Lay Ecumenical Centre, where we offer counselling, HIV testing and counselling, support groups, career guidance, transgender specific services and referrals. You may contact our Edendale office on 033 398 0004.

As a NPO we rely on donations and sponsorship, which goes towards our programmes. Our holistic approach fosters the upliftment and recognition of the LGBTI community.

The Gay & Lesbian Network is a registered non-profit organisation which is Tax exempt and has Section 18A(1) status which means that every cash donation you make to the Network is TAX DEDUCTIBLE.

Banking details:

Bank: First National Bank (FNB)

Account name: Gay and Lesbian Network

Account number: 62100583394

Branch name: Bank Street

Branch code: 220825

Swift code: FIRNZAJJ (international code)

 

Tel: +27 33 342 6165

19 Connaught Road

Pietermaritzburg, 3201

E-mail: info@gaylesbian.org.za

 

For free counselling call our Helpline number on 086 033 3331 or SMS “HELP” to 079 891 3036 and we will call you back.

Helpline operates from 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday.

 Members of the Gay & Lesbian Network (GLN) have seen the film Inxeba and feel that it has received a large amount of positive views in  an international platform. However, amaXhosa King Zwelonke Sigcawu, would prefer it didn’t show at all.

Anthony Waldhausen, the director and founder of the Gay & Lesbian Network, has claimed that the film ‘doesn’t focus on the Xhosa culture’ but rather on some of the difficulties faced by some men who are attracted to other men and the struggles they face within the culture.

He fears that most of the people who are speaking out against the film, most probably haven’t seen it, and if this is the case, he urges them to watch it before jumping to conclusions on what the film is trying to portray.

Abongile Matyila, who is Xhosa himself, also believes this. He says that people are getting ready to fight, due to the secretive nature of the Xhosa initiation ritual being displayed. He says that the trailer may have seemed disrespectful to many who saw it, as keeping the tradition secret is a normal part of the ritual that serves to preserve the nature and sanctity of the culture- a tradition which has been in place for hundreds of years.

“However, at the same time, there needs to be a space for people to express their sexual identity. The film does a lovely job in this as it shows that not all men who are homosexual are ‘out and proud’, and that there are other ways in which one can express their sexuality,” says Matyila. “This also plays into the themes of respect and caring for each other as men which are exhibited by culture. It challenges the traditional idea of what masculinity is supposed to be, and how, due to constraints from society, these lovers have managed to find a way in which to express their feelings for each other”. He adds that the story does not portray too much of the sacred ritual, but layers a context in which reality and story-telling can challenge our ordinary perceptions of masculinity, and portray the complex intersectionality between culture and identity.

Waldhausen is particularly concerned that one of the lead actors, Nakhane, has received very violent death threats over social media and recently had to cancel a trip to the Eastern Cape due to fearing for his life and safety. “He is just an actor portraying a reality, and this definitely counts as hate speech as it incites violence towards the LGBTI+ community. This highlights the fact that the delay in the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill is a major concern, says Waldhausen.

Pierre Buckley, the operational manager at GLN, echoes these concerns and reinforces the fact that Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill needs to be put into place ASAP. “You would think that in a country where diversity is celebrated, that we would not have such a tough time in accepting those who are different to us, be it racial, cultural, gender roles or religious differences” says Buckley.

The Gay & Lesbian Network acknowledges that our struggles are intersectional and the political difficulties minority groups might experience (including that of cultural groups) can be better addressed when we present a united front and embrace our differences within a safer, more tolerant space within our rainbow nation.

The Gay & Lesbian Network is a non-profit organisation which advocates for the upliftment and recognition of the LGBTI community. We offer various programmes and workshops, and encourage you to come forward if you have been a victim of a hate crime. We offer free counselling and work closely with other medical professionals. If you would like more information, please call us on 033 342 6165 or email info@gaylesbian.org.za

Staff at the Gay & Lesbian Network have been working on our veggie garden! We have planted an array of vegetables which will be used to feed our beneficiaries. This also forms a part of our staff wellness program. The Gay & Lesbian Network ensures optimum commitment and services for the upliftment and recognition of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community through creative programmes that foster equality, respect and acceptance.

As a NPO we rely on donations and sponsorship. This money goes towards our programmes, which foster the upliftment and recognition of the LGBTI community. The Gay & Lesbian Network is a registered non-profit organisation which is Tax exempt and has Section 18A(1) status which means that every cash donation you make to the Network is TAX DEDUCTIBLE. If you are interested in helping us, we are looking for gardening tools, seeds, plants, a bench and a table.

If you would like further information, please contact 033 342 6165 or email info@gaylesbian.org.za

Thobeka “TK” Bhengu (29) is a human rights activist, performer, choreographer and an artistic director of the Rainbow Theatre Company, a project of the Gay & Lesbian Network based in Scottville.  After her first collaboration with an internationally renowned artist and visual activist Zanele Muholi, a saxophonist Sebenzile Langa and a spoken word artist Andiswa Dlamini in Ohio, USA in October last year, local artist Thobeka Bhengu will be performing her experimental  work titled  ‘(Un)African’ in London, United Kingdom  at the Autograph Gallery at Rivington Place. She was invited by Zanele Muholi to create and perform at Muholi’s solo exhibition entitled ‘Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama’ that will be showing between the 13thJuly -28th October 2017. Bhengu will be departing on the 8th of July and she will be returning on the 16th of July.

Her new solo work is an exploration of culture, tradition and religion. Where she explores from her personal view how certain beliefs are used by a majority of African countries to reinforce homophobia. An idea that they have spent the past two months exploring with the Rainbow Theatre Company in an upcoming production entitled Safe Spaces. She is hoping to continue experimenting with the work for a while after her trip and believes there is room for the work to evolve after its debut in London.

Her hopes for the trip are to explore the culture, visit historic sites, and see some performances and also get a chance to network with other artists and potential funders. Bhengu hasn’t planned any tourist activities since she feels she’ll learn more by talking to locals than booking an official tour of the city. Local artists continue to wave our flag high and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

 

Thobeka performing Faces and Phases in Ohio, USA 2016.

 

May 17 is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). The date was selected to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to remove homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses. Since then, the LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex) community has come a long way; but we still face many health, economic, and social barriers, as well as alarmingly high levels of hate crimes.


At the Gay & Lesbian Network, we see first-hand how homophobia and transphobia negatively impacts the health and well-being of LGBTI people. We ensure optimum commitment and services for the upliftment and recognition of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered and Intersex (LGBTI) community through creative programmes that foster equality, respect and acceptance.

Here are five ways you can participate in the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia to make sure it continues to get better for the LGBT community:

1. Spread the Word through Social Media:
Share this post and show your support on Facebook. Tweet your support for the LGBT community using #IDAHOT, #GLN and @GLNkzn. Write your own blog about IDAHOT and share it on Tumblr. Snap a photo of yourself holding a pro-LGBT sign for Instagram. Make equality go viral!

2. Give Back to the LGBTI Community:
Donate to your favourite LGBTI causes. As a NPO we rely on donations and sponsorship. This money goes towards the upliftment and recognition of the LGBTI community. The Gay & Lesbian Network is a registered non-profit organisation which is Tax exempt and has Section 18A(1) status. Every cash donation you make to the Network is TAX DEDUCTIBLE in terms of Section 18A(1) of the Income Tax Act of 1962, as amended.

GLN banking details:
Bank: First National Bank (FNB)
Account name: Gay & Lesbian Network
Account number: 62100583394
Branch name: Bank Street
Branch code: 220825

3. Share Your Story:
Let others know how homophobia or transphobia has affected you or your loved ones. You can help your friends and family understand how anti-LGBTI bias negatively impacts people they know and love. We have a number of counsellors who are trained on LGBTI related issues. For free counselling call our helpline on 086 033 3331 or SMS HELP to 079 891 3036 and we will call you back (Helpline operates from 9am – 4pm Monday to Friday). At GLN, we are also always looking for positive stories. If you have one, please contact media@gaylesbian.org.za

4. Listen to Someone Else’s Story:
Homophobia and transphobia impact us all differently. If you are a cisgender man or woman, educate yourself about the challenges faced by trans members of our community. If you are an LGBTI adult, do something that benefits the youth in our community—who face much higher levels of harassment and homelessness than their heterosexual peers. As we work to open other people’s minds, we should see where there’s room to grow ourselves. We have a number of awareness campaigns that you may want to take part in. For more information, please email info@gaylesbian.org.za

5. Take pride in our rainbow nation and celebrate diversity:
The Gay & Lesbian Network has some great events coming up this year! The highlight of our calendar is the Pink Mynah Festiva! 100% of the monies raised benefit our work for upliftment of the LGBTI community. We are also looking for sponsors for this event, so if you would like to let the world know that you believe in equal human rights, please contact us for more information on how you can get involved.

And remember, you can take these steps against homophobia and transphobia not just today but every day! For more information visit our website at www.gaylesbian.org.za or call our office on (+27) 033 342 61 65.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the sad reality for many of our beneficiaries. We are asking you to look into your heart and make a donation of either food or money. Please bring a can of food, or a food pack to our office, at 19 Connaught Road, in Scottsville Pietermaritzburg.

If this is not possible, please make a monetary donation. This money will go towards the upliftment and recognition of the LGBTI community, including providing them with thier basic needs, such as food.

The Gay & Lesbian Network is a registered non-profit organisation which is Tax exempt and has Section 18A(1) status. Every cash donation you make to the Network is TAX DEDUCTIBLE in terms of Section 18A(1) of the Income Tax Act of 1962, as amended.

Banking details:

Bank: First National Bank (FNB)
Account name: Gay & Lesbian Network
Account number: 62100583394
Branch name: Bank Street
Branch code: 220825
**Please use ‘Donation’ as a reference.

The Gay & Lesbian Network ensures optimum commitment and services for the upliftment and recognition of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community through creative programmes that foster equality, respect and acceptance.

19 Connaught Road, Pietermaritzburg
033 342 6165
www.gaylesbian.org.za

For free counselling call our Helpline number on 086 033 3331 or SMS “HELP” to 079 891 3036 and we will call you back.
Helpline operates from 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday.

 

The Gay & Lesbian Network’s ‘Creating an Enabling Environment’ programme recently held a workshop at the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA). The workshop covered the different types of sexual orientation, gender variation and sexual play.

 
The Creating an Enabling Environment programme focuses on engaging the key stakeholders at provincial and local levels with education and raising awareness on LGBTI issues. The aim is that local communities, their leaders, the health providers, the police and targeted educational institutions in the area, will provide an enabling and supportive environment for LGBTI people.

 
These types of workshops help to reduce stigma and stereotypes of the LGBTI community. This then allows for LGBTI persons to feel safer and accepted when accessing the various services. This works towards our core values of respect, acceptance and equality for all.

 

The Gay & Lesbian’s Health Programme co-ordinator, Pierre Buckley, and the health programme assistants, Mfundo Ntombela and Minenhle Nhleko, have been very busy in the Greater Edendale and Imbali areas. They have been handing out commodities such as condoms and water based lubricants, as well as information flyers on the Gay & Lesbian Network, the work we do and the various services that we offer. They also handed out booklets which have critical information about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) communities, and hate crimes. These booklets, which can be accessed online HERE, discuss hate crimes within the LGBTI context. It also has helpful information about what you should do if you have been a victim of a hate crime, who you can contact as well as some useful definitions.

The following clinics were visited by the Health Programme team today (24 January 2017):

  • Willowfountain Clinic
  • Impilwenhle Clinic
  • Azalea Clinic
  • Caluza Clinic
  • Gateway Clinic
  • Ashdown Clinic
  • Esigodini Clinic

 

Mfundo Ntombela, Sister Dlamini and Pierre Buckley at the Willowfountain Clinic.

Mfundo Ntombela, Sister Dlamini and Pierre Buckley at the Willowfountain Clinic.

Pierre Buckley, Sister Dlamini and Minenhle Nhleko at the Azalea Clinic.

Pierre Buckley, Sister Dlamini and Minenhle Nhleko at the Azalea Clinic.

Minenhle Nhleko, Pierre Buckley, and Sister Dlamini at the Ashdown Clinic.

Minenhle Nhleko, Pierre Buckley, and Sister Dlamini at the Ashdown Clinic.

Pierre Buckley, Sister Amanda and Mfundo Ntombela  at the Esigodini Clinic.

Pierre Buckley, Sister Amanda and Mfundo Ntombela at the Esigodini Clinic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you would like to find out more about our programmes, please call us on (+27) 033 342 6165 or visit our website www.gaylesbian.org.za

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