Project lifts the voices of Eswatini’s LGBT people


Voices of Eswatini, a new project from Eswatini Sexual and Gender Minorities (ESGM) and All Out, amplifies the voices of the small but strong LGBT community in a tiny kingdom in southern Africa where same-sex relations are illegal. Same-sex sexual activity is criminalized in Eswatini under the colonial-era Roman-Dutch common law that is still applied in the country, which officially changed its name from Swaziland in 2018. The Voices of Eswatini campaign by ESGM and the online advocacy group All Out seeks to convince the government to repeal the prohibitions against sodomy. The project presents stories from LGBT people in video, audio, and print format to help other people in Eswatini understand their experiences, and how discrimination, persecution, and social stigma harm them. S’Thembile, a 27-year-old lesbian, says she was gang raped by a group of the police who declared that, because she was a lesbian, her “body is going to waste.”

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