LGBTQI+ community deserves entrenched rights, not tolerance – Lasizwe
Socialite, shoe brand Bathu team up to celebrate Pride Month
Content creator Lasizwe Dambuza feels more should be done by the society at large to be more inclusive of the LGBTQI+ community – as opposed to just being tolerated.
The 25-year-old yesterday launched a limited-edition collaboration with local shoe brand Bathu in celebration of Pride Month. The lunch was attended by Sama nominee Lloyiso, transgender activist Yaya Mavundla, queer activist Tumi Powerhouse, musician Langa Mavuso and socialite Bobby Blanco.
On Friday, the Thami Dish Foundation, founded by Thami Kotlolo, will raise the rainbow flag at Constitution Hill in Johannesburg, which has became an annual fixture to commemorate the first Pride March in October 1990. Next Friday, Kotlolo will announce the nominees for the 15th annual Feather Awards, recognising excellence in the community.
“The raising of the flag at the same location where the Constitutional Court is, where many of our freedoms and protections as LGBTQ people have been fought for and won, is significant in so many ways. It is an affirmation that our rights are human rights and must continue to be protected," Kotlolo said.
"It is a claim for space that we are, just as anyone else, entitled to and symbolic to how we should move in the world. As many of us battle homophobia and discrimination in society, at work and other spaces, this moment will act as a reminder that pride is not only about celebration but it is also a protest against those who seek to bully us into oblivion."
Despite finding viral fame, Dambuza opened up to Sowetan about how at times he still did not feel fully included by society, but rather tolerated. “I feel like, as a society we are taking baby steps but one of my wishes is to feel included by society without it feeling like it’s being done out of favour,” he said.
“Inclusion to me means that I’m not just a number or a figure head you can use to say that at least there is one of us there. Inclusion needs to be and feel authentic that we truly are a part of society and not just a statistic to prove how forehead one is about inclusivity.”
Dambuza is regarded as one of the leading figures in content creation, but it has not come easy in the beginning. “I came into the game when it was taboo to rock a wig with a beard as a proud queer man. But now, all of that seems very normal now,” he said.
“It's wonderful to see the younger generation living boldly in their truth. I love how liberated they are.
“The best advice I’d give someone who’s battling to come out is to take your time with yourself. Keep a sound mind and come out when you’re truly ready because the world we live in is super tough and it needs one to be mentally prepared for it.”
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