The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex (LGBTQI) plus community in Kimberley in the Northern Cape has once again demanded equality and humane treatment. This comes as the world observes International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
The activists say days like these are a reminder of how their lives are at risk because of their sexual orientation. According to LGBTQI+ organisation, Access Chapter Two, at least 88% of LGBTQI plus people do not report violent attacks meted against them.
Keoagile Lekoma is among many LGBTQI+ people who face homophobia and hate. He says as a gay man this is a daily occurrence for him even at healthcare facilities.
“Clinics in most cases do not want to treat the LGBTQI people fairly. I don’t know when people are going to stop this discrimination because it doesn’t end. Rather it being suppressed, it grows. When they see a gay person, they will be like it doesn’t suit you to be gay,” says Lekoma.
LGBTQI+ communities have, in recent weeks, faced attacks with some being killed for being themselves. Executive Director at Access Chapter Two, Steve Letsike, says the law needs to be harsher against perpetrators.
“Anybody who discriminates, anybody who challenges some of the clauses in the constitution or the rights that are enshrined in the Constitution must be taken to task. We cannot have a lawless state this means that we must take people through judiciary process and we must take people to equality court,” adds Letsike.
LGBTQI+ community calls on President Ramaphosa to condemn homophobic attacks:
LGBTQI+ activist, Patsy Alley, says most cases of violence and homophobia go unreported.
“We have internalised these feelings of hate so when something happens to us, we do not even go and report because it is a thing that happens all the time. We are not looking for special treatment. We are looking for equal treatment,” says Alley.
Last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned homophobic attacks in the country. A step which the LGBTQI+ community hope will bring about change.