Community confronts gay issues

gaysBy Mohalenyane Phakela

LERIBE — As part of their mission of educating people through films and discussions, Sesotho Media and Development (SM&D), Steps into the future and LGBTI (Lesbians Gays Bisexual Transgendered and Intersex) held a screening and discussion at Naoana-Masooana on Monday.

The motive behind the seminar was to stop the high rate of discrimination against gays and lesbians in Lesotho so as to correct the wrong information disseminated to the community regarding that section of the society.

The film that was played for the community of Naoana-Masooana is a Zimbabwean documentary That’s Me — a film about a gay person infected with HIV.

The protagonist talks about how it was hard for her to accept her HIV status, but with the support and love her family and friends show, she is living a happy life.

“HIV is just a situation rather than a disease as most people perceive it. An infected person can live a normal life as long as he or she eats healthy and gets treatment,” explained ‘Malehloa Kalati of SM&D to the community.

“HIV may result into Aids if it is not treated. Everybody can be affected regardless of their sexual orientation.”

Talking about gays and lesbians she said: “We as parents cannot choose what our children should be, but we should in turn accept them for who they are. Gays and lesbians are normal people like everyone.”

This made the audience furious. They said that one is not supposed to change the gender that God gave him or her. It is a blasphemy! The Bible tells people to multiply, how will they multiply if people of the same sex sleep together?

These are some of the questions that were thrown at Kalati by the community.

They were so angry that they wanted to leave, until “Lineo Sheriff” Mothopeng of Matrix Support Group (an organisation that deals with the issues of gays and lesbians) took centre stage to explain.

She said: “This is not the life we choose, we are born this way. If it was a choice I would not have taken it due to the insults and scorns we receive on a daily basis. We are humans like everybody; the only difference is the sexual orientation.”

People started to calm down as she continued: “Parents fail to accept us for who we are because we do not grow up to be what they expect us to be and mostly worried of what the community will say.

“Parents should stop dictating their children’s future because that is abuse. For instance, some parents tend to force their kids to use the right hand rather than the left one; I mean what is wrong with the left one?

“As for the Bible, it is written by man and we construe it in different ways. What is important is what you feel is good in the eyes of God. Accept the situation you are within so you can live happily.”

The audience then started to nod heads as they clapped to thank Mothopeng for her message.


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