Braving out the cold weather last Friday, members of the East London LGBTQI community marched from the Buffalo City College main campus to the city hall in order to raise awareness about the discrimination and sometimes violence violence they face in their communities.
Under the theme “Walk in her shoes”, the 2km-long march was filled with song and dance, with the participants, some dressed in colourful costumes, drawing attention from motorists who hooted and cheered from the sidelines.
“We are trying to integrate minority communities within sport codes and also raise awareness on gender discrimination.
“We want people to place themselves in the shoes of transgender women or anyone from the LGBTQI community. We experience a lot of things such as unemployment, violence and other discriminative issues which we face on daily basis.
“Government institutions such as health facilities mistreat us because of our sexuality, and so does the transport industry, as some of us use public transport.
“We want the government to protect us and we want our rights to be taken seriously,” said Social Health Empowerment (She) member Leigh- Ann van der Merwe said.
The non-profit organisation that first emerged in East London in November 2010, and has grown from strength to strength since.
Since then, the organisation has gone from strength to strength.
“Our work is based on collective action and though we were registered as a coalition with the department of social development, we work on an equal basis with all our partners,” Van der Merwe said.
“We employ a feminist agenda as an ideological underpinning to our work,” said Van der Merwe.