Rose Fumane Nthoroane
The Vaal University of Technology’s HIV/AIDS Unit (IHAU), in collaboration with Thami Dish Foundation, hosted a campus dialogue for the community of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer(LGBTIQ+). This event took place on the Friday, 23 August 2019 at the Vanderbijlpark campus.
The purpose of the dialogue was to create awareness and educate the VUT community about the sensitivity of handling gender identity and sexuality, and the differences between what society believes and what is true, so that VUT will become a stigma free campus.
The purpose of the Thami Dish Foundation is supporting LGBTIQ+ individuals from disadvantaged communities in South Africa through empowering and affirming solutions in education and social structures.
Jay Judah Matlou – Head of Programmes at the Thami Dish Foundation, was the guest speaker and facilitator of the dialogue. The highlights were the importance of knowing the difference between gender identity: what you think of yourself and how you view yourself and gender expression: how one outwardly shows their gender identity. Some examples of gender expression are masculine, feminine or androgynous.
The audience shared challenges that they come across on campus which make them feel unwelcomed. There is a need for a series of this kind of dialogue in order to destigmatize the LGBTIQ+ on campus.