South Africa's LGBTI newspaper since the 1980's

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The Gay & Lesbian Network hosted a local government election public meeting yesterday (14 July) in Pietermaritzburg.

The aim of the public meeting was to provide an opportunity for those who are marginalized and vulnerable especially the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) to engage with the major political parties on issues of concern to them with regards to local governance, service delivery issues and hate crimes. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) was also invited to provide an overview of the election processes and voter education.GLN

The following political parties confirmed their attendance: ANC, DA, IFP and EFF. The following party representatives were expected: Mzi Zuma (ANC); Martin Meyer (DA); Vusi Khoza (EFF) and IFP were yet to advise who they would send. The only party or representative that honoured the commitment was Martin Meyer of the DA.

Anthony Waldhausen, director of the Gay & Lesbian Network said, "The lack of commitment shown by a failure to attend gives the impression that politicians and their respective parties do not care about the LGBTI electorate and, possibly, the other vulnerable and marginalized sectors of
the local population. The level of civil unrest in the country is unsurprising given the failure to engage with the electorate when suitable platforms are provided prior to the elections. It would therefore seem that the DA is the only party willing to engage with the LGBTI electorate ahead of the local government elections scheduled for 3 August 2016."

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City of Cape Town Oranjezicht Ward 77 Councillor, Dave Bryant, prospective councillor Brandon Golding, and Councillor Stuart Diamond attended a tour of the Pride Shelter, Africa's first and only LGBTI crisis centre, hosted by the Matron, Jan Richter with Board Members Andrew Howard and Dave Nel on Tuesday 05 July.P1010433

The Pride Shelter Trust in Oranjezicht is a non-profit organisation that manages the Pride Shelter, which provides short-term accommodation for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people from the greater Cape Town during crisis periods in their lives.

“We were very pleased to meet the councillors. It’s pivotal that we maintain a solid working relationship with the City of Cape Town and draw on the support of our local elected representatives. It was also great to update the councillors on our work, which we are planning to extend beyond offering short-term emergency accommodation to new training and counselling programmes for the residents and our staff,” explains Andrew Howard, Pride Shelter Trust Board member.

Councillor Bryant formally introduced Brandon Golding as the prospective councillor for the Oranjezicht ward for September 2016.

Shooting from the shadows - When gay hearts harbour gay hatred.

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Does internalised homophobia kill?   By Bruce J. Little

There is much speculation about Omar Mateen’s motives for killing or maiming more than 100 people at the Pulse gay nightclub massacre in Orlando over the weekend, as information regarding his sexual orientation comes to light. He was believed to be a regular patron over a length of time at the very LGBTQIA+ venue that became the sight of his murderous rampage and is alleged to have had two profiles on known dating apps for men who have sex with men. His father believed his acts were motivated by a repulsion Omar felt at the sight of two men kissing. Omar may have been suffering from severe internalised homophobia, and it’s an epidemic likely to be every bit as stirring as HIV. The two may even be inextricably linked.

What is internalised homophobia?lovenothate
It’s more than just being afraid to come out of the closet. Essentially, it is when an LGBTQIA+ individual becomes infected with heterosexist and homo-prejudiced society’s perceptions of what it is to be LGBTQIA+; adopts these views and turns these poison ideas inwards on themselves, as well as onto other LGBTQIA+ individuals.
“My family/ friends/ these people/ this religion/ this book/ this institution believes that being LGBTQIA+ is evil and unacceptable. Therefore, I am evil and unacceptable, and so is anyone who is like me.”
If you are LGBTQIA+ and ashamed of being LGBTQIA+, then it’s easy to say that you are an internalised homophobe. But, the same applies if you are judgmental towards other LGBTQIA+ people that are different from you. If you judge effeminate gay men as being inferior to masculine gay men; “tops” as being superior to “bottoms” or deem trans gendered individuals to deserve less status than you do; or feel that a “butch” lesbian is easier to tolerate than a “lipstick” lesbian, then you too are suffering from internalised homophobia.
The term “internalised homophobia” is misleading. The word phobia is associated with fear, but often it is more severe than fear, more like prejudice, discrimination or hatred. So, the term ‘homophobia’ makes it seem more harmless than it is. Then the use of “internalised” also creates the impression that nothing is outwardly manifested, and this is not the case when it manifests as an LGBTQ person killing other members of the LGBTQIA+ community as a result of his internalised homophobia.

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Dr. Rad talks Flu Jab

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Dr. Oscar Radebe, Clinical Manager: Senior Medical and Communications Consultant for Health4Men, answers some questions about getting the flu vaccine.OscarRadebe
1. What is the flu vaccine, and how does it work?
Flu vaccines are created to protect against seasonal flu, which affects millions of people each year. The vaccine is trivalent, which means it is three vaccines combined into one to protect against three common viruses: influenza A (H1N1) virus, influenza A (H3N2) virus, and the influenza B virus. The vaccine is injected to stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies, which can take up to 2 weeks to fight against the virus. So, it is recommended that you get a vaccine, at least, a month before flu season starts (May/June).
2. My friend said that he got sick after he took the vaccine. Is it possible that the vaccine itself can make you sick?
No, the flu vaccine does not make you sick, but there could be other reasons why you became ill and the common ones are:
• You vaccinated late and had already been exposed to the flu virus
• Your immune system was weak at that time of vaccination, so your body could not produce enough antibodies to fight the flu
• You vaccinated in time, but the strain of the flu virus in that particular year has mutated or changed and has become resistant to the vaccine that you got

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When your BFF is living with HIV

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By Bruce J. Little

We sat around the pool chatting and laughing about stuff we’d gotten up to over the weekend.  We loved to do this; get together and compare dating war stories, and this always left us both wheezing from too much cackling and not enough breathing.  I was still mid the descending voiced sigh that usually ends a long spell of laughter when he said:  "I need to tell you something."h4mlogo

The news left me completely stunned with absolutely no idea what to say.  This is a guy that I could usually tell anything to, a person that shared my un-PC sense of humour and also loved to play in the realms of the inappropriate.  He and I sang Gaga together and flirted outrageously with petrol attendants. But I knew that what he had said was not meant to be funny. 

He wasn’t the first person I knew that was HIV-positive, but he was the first person that I knew well, and the last person I thought would ever acquire it. My first lesson, HIV is indiscriminate.

I said so many tactless things, and looking back I admire how well he coped with some of the stupid things I said and asked.  Knowing that I can't go back and change how I reacted then, at least, I can now help people to know what they should say if they ever find themselves in the same situation.

My first big mistake:  I got all formal and not like myself.  Because I felt unsure of what to say, I suddenly started to edit myself and to speak in a way that wasn't authentic. I must’ve sounded like a call centre agent from a complaints hotline. He picked it up immediately. Authenticity is the best first response.  "I'm sorry to hear that", wasn't the wrong thing to say so much as it wasn't the kind of thing I would usually say to him.  It was the kind of stuff you say to an acquaintance or disgruntled customer. I should have sworn out loud and grabbed and hugged him; that would've been more me.   What you say is not as important as the way that you say it.     

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