AMSHeR_IDAHOT_Press ReleaseMay 17, 2017
JOHANNESBURG, May 17th, 2017 – The African Men for Sexual Health and Rights [AMSHeR] joins the World in observing the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Bi-phobia [IDAHOT].
This year’s IDAHOT focuses on strengthening Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual and Queer (LGBTQ) families in response to the rise in conservative movements across the globe that seek to further institutionalise family as a preserve of patriarchy and heteronormativity and to affirm that ‘Love is what makes a family’.
AMSHeR commemorates this IDAHOT by screening two documentaries that explore queer identities and the ‘integration of sexuality and spirituality’ as a prelude to a moderated conversation with individuals involved in the making of the documentaries ‘Queer Voices of Faith’ and ‘Hell or High Water.’
While ‘Queer Voices of Faith’ explores the integration of spirituality and sexuality among African LGBT persons and the role that faith and religion plays in their lives, ‘Hell or High Water’ lends a fictional perspective to the lived realities of LGBT individuals of faith. These are personal and socio political films that weave personal journeys of faith with the role and influences of religion, including African traditional faiths, in our societies.
The documentaries run for a duration of 53 minutes and 47 seconds and premier today May 17th, 2017 in Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa on May 18th, 2017.
AMSHeR has since 2015 been working on the ‘Integrating Spirituality and Sexuality Project’ to initiate partnerships between MSM/LGBT communities, religious leaders and faith-based HIV service organisations to influence changes in attitudes and practices that marginalise MSM/ LGBT communities.
Kene Esom, AMSHeR Executive Director said, ‘Africa is replete with different expressions of family and we celebrate the role that families play in shaping society. It is also imperative to acknowledge that it is through families that we can reframe respect for diversity and unlearn the prejudice that is at the root of the discrimination that LGBT people face today. A conversation about family in an African setting is incomplete without acknowledging the role that faith plays in strengthening or weakening LGBT families across the continent.’
AMSHeR is a Pan-African coalition of MSM and LGBT-led organisations, working to promote non-discrimination, particularly based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) and to advance access to quality health services for MSM/LGBT in Africa.
As an advocacy and capacity strengthening organisation AMSHeR provides a platform for exchange and learning among MSM/LGBT community-based organisations, human rights and HIV service organisations, and other agencies working with and for MSM/LGBT organisations. In addition to bringing about visibility and addressing human rights violations based on SOGI and barriers to access quality health services, AMSHeR advocates for increased resources, community leadership and strengthening of community structures and capacity to address these issues. AMSHeR and its membership engages in advocacy at national, continental and global levels on legal and policy reform, human rights accountability and service delivery.
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