Being seen, not being favoured
LGBTI community continues to face barriers
18 May 2020 | Local News
The International Day for Homophobia and Transphobia was commemorated worldwide on Sunday.
In Namibia this day acknowledges the milestones the LGBTI community has reached in terms of
equal visibility and affirmation of humanity.
According to communications officer at Out-Right Namibia Ndiilo Nthengwe, it is important to take
note of the many barriers that still need to be bridged. “Namibia is not where it needs to be
politically and constitutionally in terms of equal rights for sexual, gender and sex minorities, and the
International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia is a stark reminder to our
government on how urgent and poignant it is for us to reform laws to ensure that the community is
safe and seen,” she says.
Referring to a transwoman that was recently assaulted in Gobabis, she said discrimination definitely
exists, and during this health crisis, community members from lower economic means are even
more vulnerable. “Discrimination occurs in various forms, some are very subtle, institutional and
almost unseen, while others are instantly visible and public,” she explains.
Out-Right Namibia just launched a project funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. “The
project aims to improve understanding of human rights and access to services that provide safety
and better health outcomes for the LGBTQIA+ community in Namibia,” she says. “Through this
project, we will engage health professionals, traditional authorities, law enforcement and teachers
through sensitisation training that aims to realise an enabling, accessible and friendlier environment
for sexual, gender and sex minorities.”
Via the German embassy, Out-Right Namibia received funding of almost N$890 000 for the project.
The theme is “Improve the understanding of human rights and access to services that provide safety
and better health outcomes for LGBTIQ+ people in Namibia”.
The International Day for Homophobia and Transphobia is like all other globally recognised days for
the LGBT+ community and according to Ndiilo, should remind us all that fighting for human and
equal rights is not about special rights or privileges. “Human Rights have to do with being seen, not