INTERCAMPUS PRIDE ALERTS STUDENTS
By: Nomvula Ndlovu
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community converged on the campuses of the Durban University of Technology on a mission to be heard on Friday.
The parade raised awareness on homophobia and issues faced by homosexuals at the institution. It was a product of a long week of events hosted around the institution educating students about the LGBTI lifestyle.
Members of the Shadow in the Rainbow organisation sang songs of awareness from ML Sultan campus, through Ritson and finally Steve Biko campus to get the students undivided attention.
Shadows in the Rainbow chairperson Aphiwe Matolweni said that today marks the launch of the organisation.
“ The organisation has been at DUT since 2011but it was never really been active. It’s the first time they got support from the institution” she said.
She further emphasised that they aim to help one another survive the challenges faced by homosexuals in and out of DUT.
LGBTI co-ordinator in the institution, Melusi Dlamini revealed the importance of the pride march.
“We want to reach out to the DUT community, make them aware that we have gender and sexual diversity within the community,” said Dlamini.
He added that the idea has been one of the key focus areas of the Students and Counselling Health Centre. They chose to focus on gender diversity and highlight the difficulties some of the gender minority encounter.
Members of the Students Counselling and Health centre supported the walk and shared words of encouragement.
“ Every person regardless of who they are has a sexual orientation. The LGBTI community is still discriminated against, however, each and every one of you here has the power to changed that,” said Director of Students Counselling and Health, Naseem Haniff.
She urged the students to claim their space and be powerful advocates.
“ Best wishes on achieving your goals and make sure that yours is a significant and recognised footprint,” Haniff concluded.