Phansi nokubulawa kwezitabane phansi, Phansi! Phezulu nokuthandana kwabantu aba same sex phezulu, Phezulu!” (Simply meaning, down with the killings of Queer person and up with same sex love.)

This was the continual chant that was shouted at the Durban IDAHOBIT walk celebration, organized by Same Toti Love in support with UNIQ MAGAZINE, GAYS and LESBIANS NETWORK, CLUB ALTITUDE and HARDING YOUTH SOCIETY just to mention a few.

This was done as a prelude to the International Day Against Homophobia Biphobia and Transphobia, which is observed on the 17th of May. The date was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organization’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

What does this day speak about? Many would ask… In my own elaborate explanation I would say, for many years the Queer community has been on the sidelines, treated secondary by humanity. Mankind has always had pure strict lines of defining themselves in the norms of how society should be, with stigmatizing tools such as; religion, culture and tradition which contributed in making the stigma more complex.

Homophobia is caused by misinformation or myths about sexuality. South Africa is the only African country that recognizes a full rights pact on equality and equity amongst homosexuals and as much as it has not really fully passed there is a foundation of hope with events such as IDAHOBIT, which serves to clear the misty misunderstanding.

Biphobia is usually internalized in the Queer community but is common in the heterosexual community. There are many people who are biphobic. They carry negative attitudes towards bisexuality, with the most common being, “there’s no such thing” or “it’s not possible” These ideas tend to be mean-spirited and negative attacks on bisexuality. The day was introduced for this, to celebrate sexual and gender diversity.

Transphobia also is another gender misinformed issue that has mostly been fought on a community level. Transphobia is a type of prejudice and discrimination similar to racism and sexism, and transgender people of colour are often subjected to all three forms of discrimination at once. IDAHOBIT was established in 2004 to draw attention to the violence and discrimination that LGBTIQ communities continue to experience around the world.

The whole world is celebrating this day and in Durban we as UniqMagazineSA decided to kick off this important day with attending the walk in solidarity to the cause. It was a small turnout, due to, in my own perspective, lack of marketing and mobilization, however it is a great initiative.

We left the starting point Bell Street Parking at Ushaka and took a slow walk with a few songs of solidarity. As we ended the walk we wrapped up with a moment of silence paying homage to people who have suffered or passed because of hate crimes. It was yet another good day.

By: Tinashe Wakapila