Where does a LGBT person expressing themselves flee to?
Where does the LGBT (stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) person just living their lives and expressing themselves flee to? The country that is promising the most equitable life, the best environment and freedom of expression seems to naturally be South Africa. The challenges and needs of LGBT refugees are complex and multiple.
How does one organise this, especially when the person might be challenged by not speaking and understanding English, vast cultural differences and there are no organised LGBT communities in South Africa geared to this?
South Africa is a classic example of a country where written law and lived experiences are in many cases in conflict with each other, and often due to this disconnect of what is written and what people want and understand.
One of the most severe examples, not only in South Africa but in the world, of people in communities objecting to the civil rights gained by LGBT community, is the escalating number of “Corrective rapes” and murders of LGBT people.
Alongside that, the daily work of most LGBT organisations and programmes are involved with fighting the oppressions and challenges received from various government departments.
As much as we have a liberal constitution we do not hear many people in South Africa speaking their minds on their thoughts. Racism, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia, queerphobia, lesbophobia and other forms of discrimination became domesticated. And in civil services it became subtle. The way we treat refugees, the inhumane long waiting queues were people have to spend night after night in rain and wind outside the Home Affairs office for months just to get a first meeting date – which is basically just the first step to be written into the register.
These are just some examples of the disconnect between our liberal constitution and the challenges faced by LGBT individuals, including refugees and also that of LGBT organisations.
_________________________ source:http://www.genderdynamix.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/When-the-Constitution-is-Not-Enough.pdfby Liesl Theron/accessed 23March2016