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

Events

 

The Pink Mynah Festival 2016 was a huge success! The festival, which was organised by the Gay & Lesbian Network and ran from 22-29 October, was split into various events which included an arts & film festival, a cheese & wine evening, the Pink Mynah Pageant and the Pink Picnic.

The Pink Mynah Photo & Film competition #MyRight2B was held at the KZN Museum as part of our Arts & Film Festival and voters had the chance to vote at the museum and online for their favourite photos and films. The winner of the photo competition is Nompumelelo Mphantsha and the winner of the video competition is Sbongiseni Mahlangu- for the video “I get beaten up, but I rise. I am titanium”

 

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The Pink Mynah Pageant was held at the Aha Imperial Hotel and people from all walks of life entered the Pageant. It was a very close call, but the judges decided on the winners after considering all the different categories- namely casual wear, formal wear, a talent section and a question and answer session, the winners were announced. The winner of Mr Pink Mynah 2016 is Andre Brahim, and the winner of Ms Pink Mynah 2016 is Sphesihle Memela.

 

We also had a raffle for a pair of Limited Edition Pride Shoes which are made in Spain. The raffle was held at the Pink Mynah Picnic at the YMCA on October 29. We would like to thank Qadasi & Maqhinga who assisted with the raffle draw on stage. The lucky winner of these awesome shoes is Mogotsi Letlhage.

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The Gay & Lesbian Network would like to congratulate all of the winners and thank everyone who took part in the various competitions. We would also like to thank the Department of Arts & Culture, Pride Shoes and all of the sponsors who made the Pink Mynah Festival 2016 great! A thank you to everyone who supported the Gay & Lesbian Network and to those who attended our events. All of your support is much appreciated.

 

 

The Pink Mynah Festival 2016 was a huge success! The festival, which was organised by the Gay & Lesbian Network ran from 22-29 October, was split into various events which included an arts & film festival, a cheese & wine evening, the Pink Mynah Pageant and the Pink Picnic.

The film screening was held at the KZN Museum and had the premiere screening of ‘This is my Rose’- a story of love, betrayal, romance and secrets. The aim of the Rose films is to use visuals or digital stories to share the intriguing indigenous knowledge on Gender Identity and Sexuality in the African context, and to sensitize the community at large with such issues and challenges. The exhibition also had some photos from the #MyRight2B photo competition which focuses on the positive stories of the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community. Not forgetting the struggles that this community faces every day, there was also a Hate Crimes exhibition. Another highlight of the exhibition was the work of internationally renowned American photographer, Michael Ashby. Ashby’s ‘Alternative’, is a collection of portraits that have been shot using ambrotype, a 160-year-old form of “alternative photography.”

The Cheese & Wine evening was held at the Aha Imperial Hotel and was really a great event in terms of fundraising for the Gay & Lesbian Network. There were four members of staff who were actioned to the highest bidder for a lunch date. There was live entertainment and great wine from Holden Manz. This wine can still be ordered through the Gay & Lesbian Network.

The Pink Mynah Pageant was also held at the Aha Imperial Hotel and people from all walks of life entered the Pageant. It was a very close call this week, but the judges decided on the winners after considering all the different categories- namely casual wear, formal wear, a talent section and a question and answer session, the winners were announced. The winner of Mr Pink Mynah 2016 is Andre Brahim, and the winner of Ms Pink Mynah 2016 is Sphesihle Memela.

The Pink Mynah Parade, affectionately known as ‘Pietermaritzburg’s Pride’ was filled with colour as the LGBTI and allies marched from Market Square to the YMCA. The afternoon as jam packed with entertainment from the likes of Kwesta, Klutch Kollective, Joocy, DJ Le Soul and many more! The raffle for the limited edition Pride Shoes was done by Qadasi & Maqhinga, and the lucky winner is Mogotsi Lettage.

The Gay & Lesbian Network would like to thank everyone who supported the event and a huge thank you to the Department of Arts and Culture for their generous sponsorship. The Network would also like to thank all the artists, performers, all the people behind the scenes and to everyone who attended. This year’s Pink Mynah Festival has been the best one yet and we are looking forward to next year!

 

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Mr Pink Mynah 2016 Andre Brahim, Director of the Gay & Lesbian Network, Anthony Waldhausen and of Ms Pink Mynah 2016 Sphesihle Memela.

 

The Pink Mynah Street Parade was a big splash of colour!

 

To view more photos, please visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/glnpmb/photos

 

 

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Master’s art student, Rory Klopper, will be hosting an exhibition of his work at the Jack Health Gallery at the UKZN Centre for Visual Art on the 14th of October. The times are 5:30pm for 6pm and refreshments will be served. There is secure parking available and the artwork will be up for sale.

This exhibition concludes three years of Master’s work interrogating the self. The artist, Rory Klopper, explores his feelings regarding social structures that adhere to a particularised norm of which he finds himself unable to subscribe. Experiencing personal traumas led Klopper to resign from formal employment and take time to reflect upon how he perceives life. Re-entering academia at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, fine art’s department Klopper’s work navigates complex social structures that are primarily influenced by his homosexuality. As the ‘other’ always looking in his work evokes a sense of isolation and the bizarre. Confronted with heteronormative rubrics that aim to control and uphold certain ideologies Klopper actively deconstructs these codes in process of actualising his uniqueness. His work has come to explore concepts of queer theory, grotesque realism, and the cadaver exquisite to try understand who he is in the act of becoming.

The multiplicity of identity challenges how one understands one’s physical body in relation to the society in which one lives. One perceives oneself as a body that looks and behaves a certain way, but this body is an illusion of social enculturation. Klopper deconstructs his body and reinterprets its form to try and understand who he really is, in doing so he creates surreal creatures based on how he perceives himself within society. Life is full of obstacles, how one navigates these challenges informs the construction of one’s identity during transformation, thus it can be argued that identity is not static but rather in a state of flux.

One’s thoughts and feelings regarding how one perceives oneself are influenced by projections from those around us. Our multiplicity is foreground in and around corporeal action. We each have a story and we each have a unique way of perceiving our reality, Carl Jung describes this reality as personal myth believing that myth is more individual and expresses life more precisely than science. Klopper’s work explores his life journey – his pain and his joy – as his personal myth. His work does not offer answers to humanities existential questions, rather it is an intimate reflection of an individual who intuitively explores his emotions through tangible modes of creation, namely painting, drawing, cut-outs, photography, and assemblage.

A nervous breakdown early in 2014 led Klopper into the unknown, and it is in the unknowing of the self that Klopper has come to embrace the complexities of his multiplicity, and understand the contradictory aspects of his character. Who one is today cannot be who one will be tomorrow, we evolve in time and space continuously, informed each day by our lived experiences. Klopper’s work allows for elements of chance to unfold which he believes unveils the authentic self. Perfection does not interest him, the uncontrolled and flawed speak more closely to his reality. As a gay man Klopper is interested in the gendering of sexuality and explores this through colour and contour, his work expresses a desire to emancipate himself from social indoctrination that restricts individual fluidity. Body-modification performance artist Orlan claims that the body is obsolete, through his work Klopper explores ways of understanding at what point the body and self intersect in the formation of identity, and how awareness of this intersection can assist in the formation of a more enlightened version of oneself.

 

 

Rory Klopper with his creations Fat Man and Thin Man

 

 

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The Gay & Lesbian Network (GLN) is hosting KZN’s Got Talent and is inviting everyone to audition. This event is part of the build up to the Gay & Lesbian Network’s main event, The Pink Mynah Festival, which will be taking place in October. This event is sponsored by the National Department of Arts & Culture and is endorsed by Tourism KwaZulu-Natal and the Msunduzi Pietermaritzburg Tourism Association.

The auditions will be held on the 18th and 19th of June at the PMB Tourism Hub, at 280 Langalibalele Street, Pietermaritzburg, 3201 (Opposite Spar, Boxer & Mini Market) at the market square. Those wanting to audition can do so between 9am and 4pm. The entrance fee is R50 for individuals and R100 for a group.

DownloadDownload the KZN’s Got Talent Entry Form and Competition Rules and remember to bring the signed copy with you to the auditions!

 

The Audition:

Your audition may not exceed 2 minutes. Any act that exceeds 2 minutes in duration will be stopped.
• Dancers must bring their own music on a CD.
• Singers please bring a backing track to your audition.
• Musicians must bring all of their own equipment.
• Variety acts must take health and safety into account.

You can win your share of R10 000, so whether you sing, dance, play an instrument or have any other entertaining talents, be sure that you do not miss out! The final talent show will be held on 25 June at the Pietermaritzburg City Hall.

For More Information please call 033 342 6165 or email info@gaylesbian.org.za

The Gay & Lesbian Network (GLN) took part in the UKZN HIV/AIDS programme’s candle light event. Students, staff and guests packed into Collin Webb Hall to take part in a Candle Lighting Memorial in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS. The UKZN AIDS Programme aligns itself with this annual international initiative to remind the university community of the AIDS struggle and to motivate the masses about their responsibility in the fight against the scourge.

The ceremony remembers those who have passed on after having fought the AIDS battle. They inspire those who are living positively with the disease and who are doing everything to conquer the struggle against HIV/AIDS, STI’s and TB. We need to remember that while we have lost loved ones we can live positively whether HIV positive or HIV negative.

The Gay & Lesbian Network were there to help raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and other STI’s, hate crimes and stigmas that affect the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex community (LGBTI) and were also giving away free lubricants and condoms.

Many students gathered around the Gay & Lesbian Network tent to find out more about the work that the Gay & Lesbian Network does, which also includes free HIV testing and counselling. If you would like to be tested, you may visit the Gay & Lesbian Network at their office at 187a Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg or call them on +27 33 342 6165 for more information.

 

Many students visited the Gay & Lesbian Network tent

Many students visited the Gay & Lesbian Network tent

The Gay & Lesbian Network, together with My Name Is Rose NPC, will be hosting a film screening of “I am the Rose” and “The Rose Ministry”. The screening will take place on April 27 the Edendale Lay Ecumanical Centre, Pietermaritzburg; at 10am.There will also be performances by Drag Queens and the Rainbow Theatre Company.

This event is one of many to be held by The Gay & Lesbian Network in the lead up to their annual Pink Mynah Festival, which is set to be held in October. The Pink Mynah Arts & Film Festival will be held on 27 October, the Pink Mynah Pageant on 28 October and the Pink Mynah Street Parade on 29 October. You may visit www.gaylesbian.org.za for further details on the Pink Mynah Festival, as well as the other events to be hosted by The Gay & Lesbian Network.

‘I Am The Rose’ is about a day filled with drama for a drag queen Cebi, who finds herself locked out of her rented room, trying to find help to pay the angry landlord. Cebi then gets a lift from Themba which results in her being mistakenly accepted as a bride to be by Themba’s mother. Cebi spends a whole day trying to pose as a daughter in law, while trying not to reveal her actual sexual orientation to this excited moth-in-law. Starring Labelz D’Glamour, Leuta Shoalane, Tshidi Mashile and Zsa-Zsa Whitney Gabor Huston, I am the Rose shows how drag queens in the busy city of Johannesburg survive being assumed to be women.

‘The Rose Ministry’ is a story of the transwoman Smiso, who wants to have the wedding at the church, as a faithful long serving member of the church; she wants the ceremony to be held by the church pastor. The homophobic pastoral family fight for this to happen despite the legal and traditional approval of the wedding. Filled with hatred and anger towards the Gay church members the Pastor’s wife tries everything possible to stop the wedding from happening in the church and to get rid of the Gay church members permanently. Nicky a very close friend and a pillar to the Pastor’s wife also face rejection and condemnation when the pastoral family discovers that she is actually a transwoman herself.

The Rose Ministry stars PJ Mathonsi, Kamo Moamohoe, Joel Myanga and Zsa-Zsa Whitney Gabor Huston. This drama shows how Leviticus 18:20, 20:13; Genesis 19:3-5 and Romans 1:26-27 are often misused to condemn homosexuality by many church leaders, which often results in hate crimes and homophobic behaviours.

First time film making couple, Mlungisi Msomi and Sekara Mafisa are the producers and directors of ‘My name is Rose’, ‘I am the Rose’ and ‘The Rose Ministry’. Mlungisi Msomi, born and raised in the deep heart of the Zulu Kingdom Nongoma RSA and with his husband, Sekara Mafisa, who was born and raised in the Maluti Highlands Kingdom of Lesotho.

With their strong rich background of African tradition, cultural social issues, their aim is to use visuals or digital stories to share the intriguing indigenous knowledge on Gender Identity and Sexuality in the African context, and to sensitize the community at large with such issues and challenges. Both Mlungisi and Sekara are Traditional Health Practitioners so with the experience and skills they have, they present and unpack African queer stories of the past and the current so as to document and leave the legacy of the LGBTI people who live in Africa. Since many people are ignorant and say homosexuality is unAfrican.

Mlungisi Msomi is a business accountant in Johannesburg and Sekara Mafisa is a Social Worker and they stay together in the West of Johannesburg. They have both been deeply involved in the LGBTI development projects in South Africa. “The continuity of documenting and telling queer African stories remain close to our hearts and we hope one day LGBTI people will be taken as normal and participate fully without any fear and discrimination in the society.”

For more information and bookings, please contact The Gay & Lesbian Network on 033 342 6165 or email info@gaylesbian.org.za

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Click the links below to view the various trailers:

https://www.facebook.com/956936367664339/videos/1073450126012962/?video_source=pages_finch_main_video

https://www.facebook.com/956936367664339/videos/1053791884645453/?video_source=pages_finch_thumbnail_video

https://www.facebook.com/956936367664339/videos/1070325302992111/?video_source=pages_finch_trailer

 

The Gay & Lesbian network took part in a dialogue that aims to tackle homophobia and the churches in Africa. The event took place on the 7 & 8 April at the Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary. The event was hosted by The Other Foundation and partnering organisations included the Open Society Foundation, Ujamaa Centre, KwaZulu-Natal Christian Centre, Arcus Foundation and The Gay & Lesbian network.

The discussions that took place included topics such as finding a shared language, finding an area of focus, and the engagement of the church, to name but a few. The co-facilitators were Ezra Chitando and Nontando Hadebe, however, there were many speakers and the audience was encouraged to take part by commenting and questioning.

On the evening of the 7th April there was an inaugural Memorial lecture for Eudy Simelane, who was a soccer player for South Africa’s Women’s national team Banyana Banyana. She was found dead in April 2008 in an open field after being stabbed several times because of her sexual orientation. She was also gang-raped. The Simelane family was present and Constitutional Court Judge Edwin Cameron delivered a moving speech on the plight of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community in South Africa.

The Rainbow Theatre Company, the Gay & Lesbian Network’s drama group, did a sterling performance titled “Reality check: Living vulnerable lives”.

Read the press release and watch the video on the Eudy Simelane Lecture on Body Theology & Human Sexuality here.

 

During the discussions on how to tackle homophobia and the churches in Africa

 

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Anthony Waldhausen, director and founder of the Gay & Lesbian Network gives closing comments.

 

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Deep conversations were held at this event.

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The Rainbow Theatre Company during their performance

 

The Gay & Lesbian Network’s Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) programme held an evaluation event at the KZN Museum. Pierre Bickley, the programme coordinator welcomed everyone to the event and the National Anthem was sung.

Buckley also shared a number of presentations that document the work of the SRHR programme within the region. He also discussed some of the successful partnerships that have been formed with other LGBTI organisations within Africa, including Mauritius, Botswana and Swaziland.

The SRHR field workers also had a chance to present and Bongumusa Shezi spoke about the workshops which complement the SRHR programme; Mfundo Ntombela discussed the effect of dialogues on cultural and religious misconceptions; and Minenhle Nhleko presented on the impact of social media and community radio. A question and answer session was held after the presentations, and Noxolo Nxumalo spearheaded these discussions.

ICAP, one of the Gay & Lesbian Network’s partners also attended the event with their mobile clinic to do HIV, TB and STI testing and screening. These services are also available to the Gay & Lesbian Network’s office, situated at 187a Burger Street, Pietermaritzburg.

Other stakeholders that were in attendance included the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Siyanqoba and Families South Africa (FAMSA). Gusts were treated to performances by Sphesihle Mshiba and Xoli Ngubane. Lunch was served after the presentations and many positive comments made about the work and the reach of this project.

The Gay & Lesbian Network held their Annual General Meeting last weekend, on 27 February. The AGM was held at St Alpheges Church in Alan Paton Drive on Saturday. The acting chairperson, Nkululeko Conco, the finance manager, Nasreen Visajee and director of the Gay & Lesbian Network, Anthony Waldhausen kicked off the meeting with their yearly reports. The guest speaker was Pumla Mabizela from Oxfam, South Africa.  The Master of ceremonies was Mr Pink Mynah 2015, Abongile Matyila. In between speakers, there was lovely singing by Petunia Msani.

The various programmes also reported back on the highlights on the last year. The programme manager, Thuli Mjwara gave an overview of the progress of the programmes. The Gay & Lesbian Network currently run four programmes which are aimed at promoting Equality, Respect and Acceptance for all. The four programmes that the Gay & Lesbian Network runs are ‘Creating an Enabling Environment’, ‘Sexual & Reproductive Health Rights’, the ‘Outreach’ programme and the relatively new ‘Research’ unit.

The Gay & Lesbian Network were very pleased to announce that they have recently partnered with the Litres for Education initiative which enables ordinary people to make a difference to their choice of educational institution, community projects and non-profit organisations based on the amount of fuel they purchase monthly. When filling up with fuel at one of the participating service stations, 10 cents for every litre goes towards the charity and in this case, the Gay & Lesbian Network. All you have to do is sign up online and then choose the Gay & Lesbian Network as your preferred beneficiary, and tell the service station when you fill up on fuel. You need to also get a donor ID which you need to stick to your windscreen and they are available at the Gay & Lesbian Network office.

The Gay & Lesbian Network educates the general population, as well as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community on various topics, including health rights, sexual diversity, personal development, etc. The Gay & Lesbian Network also run a helpline for those in distress and are involved in numerous anti-bullying campaigns.

If you are interested in learning more about the Gay & Lesbian Network or would like to make donations through the Litres for Education fund, please visit the website at www.gaylesbian.org.za or call the Gay & Lesbian Network on 033 342 6165. Alternatively, you may visit the offices at 187a Burger Street.

 

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The Gay & Lesbian Network recently held a Night Vigil at St Alphege’s Church is Scottsville. The Vigil was held to raise awareness on the plight of hate crimes affecting the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community. Survivors, advocates and allies joined together to speak out against these and other hate crimes which plague society. Candles were lit, prayers were said and hymns were sung in a plea to stop the violence.

Hate crimes affect people from all walks of life and take many forms, including physical attacks, threats and verbal abuse. People may be a victim of a hate crime due to their sexual orientation, race or ethnicity, religion or disability. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a hate crime, please come forward and we can help you. Contact the Gay & Lesbian Network on 033 342 6165 or visit our website www.gaylesbian.org.za for more information.

The Gay & Lesbian Network also has a free counselling service. We offer face to face counselling, as well as online/over the phone counselling. Our services also include HIV Testing and Counselling. For free counselling, please 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.