Over 85 persons from all over Africa participated in the African Same-Sex Sexualities and Gender Diversity conference last week in Pretoria, South Africa. The central role of religion and spirituality among African lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons was one of the key topics at the conference. Another key topic was the importance of placing LGBTI activism in a context that resonates with African life.
The central role of religion and spirituality in the lives of African LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered and intersexed) was one of the first observations.
There is a strong religious and spiritual experience among African LGBTI persons. While in practice integration is not always smooth, same-sex sexuality and religion/spirituality are not mutually exclusive. The importance of collaborating with religious- and faith-based leaders, and traditional healers to improve the lives of LGBTI persons was emphasized.
Over 85 people participated in Pretoria, South Africa, coming from all over the African continent, including countries such as Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo, Uganda and Zimbabwe. The late David Kato, brutally murdered in Uganda, was scheduled to speak and was deeply missed during the conference.
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