Celebrating Our Differences
Out-Right Namibia, with LifeLine/ChildLine and PV, celebrated the rich tapestry of Namibia’s LGBT+ communities through a week-long advocacy campaign, #weareone in July 2017.
The multichannel #WeAreOne campaign celebrated the lived experience of LGBT+ persons in Namibia, and aimed to challenge othering processes to emphasise humanity above sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. A media engagement breakfast launched the campaign, and saw media houses engage with implementing partners and the EU ambassador, Jana Hyboskova, in discussions on ethical reporting on LGBT+ matters.
LifeLine/ChildLine hosted a workshop for LGBT+ youth, ‘This is Me’, which focused on personal growth. 7 LGBT+ youth members were engaged on a journey of self-discovery and building resilience. A panel discussion led by Robin Tyson, Namibian media guru and lecturer, addressed the impact of homophobic and transphobic rhetoric on the LGBT+ cmmunity. On the panel were Friedel Dausab (ORN), Madelein Isaaks (TULINAM), Jholerina Timbo (Wings to Transcend), Salen Engelbrecht (PV) and Rosa Namises (Women’s Solidarity). During an evening ‘bond’ fire, community members spoke about their struggles and victories, and made posters for the parade with quotes such as: ‘You don’t need to be LGBT to support the LGBT’, ‘Gay Rights are Human Rights’, ‘We’re not confused you are just ignorant’.
A fundraiser at the Warehouse Theatre saw audiences entertained by South African Drag Queen, Lilly Slaptsilli, who had 23 costume changes during her lip sync performance. The highlight was when Namibia’s very own Drag Queen, Midnight Monroe, came on stage and lip synced to Tina Turner’s, River Deep Mountain High. This was the first drag show held in Windhoek and all proceeds went to ORN towards the establishment of a safe house for vulnerable members of the community.
A peaceful parade brought LGBT+ community members and allies together to march down Independence Avenue calling for better legal protection. The community was dressed in colorful attire and carried a huge Rainbow Pride flag, chanting ‘We Are One’. Marchers came to halt and spent a moment in silence paying homage to members of the community who lost their lives or were brutally assaulted due to their sexual orientation.
The parade ended at the Warehouse Theatre where they were entertained by Namibia’s LGBT+ performers, Miss H, Michael Pulse and Ndinomoholo, followed by Namibia’s first ever, live Lip Sync Battle. Five contestants took part in this high paced and energetic battle, with the gorgeous Chante walking away with the prize money.
An advocacy video campaign was produced, directed and edited by Lila Productions in collaboration with Motion Bones, showcasing eight LGBT+ members who discuss their identity and share with the community that they are human regardless of their sexual orientation, reminding the world that they too are brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers: This campaign sparked a lot of conversation in country, with major media houses reporting on the activities conducted.