Engaged to sensitize the public on issues concerning the lives of homosexuals, the Batho ba Lerato Film festival drew gasps and giggles among the audience when some films showing homosexual couples and informative details about their nature or sexual orientation were screened.
“People still laugh at our issues, we wanted to make this light so people can feel free and not feel like we are trying to impose our beliefs on them. It is still a learning experience so hopefully with the laughs they will walk away with something,” said Ratanang Mosweu, Health and Human Rights Officer at Lesbians, Gays & Bisexuals of Botswana (LEGABIBO), who says he is gay and proud.
According to Mosweu the response has been a positive as the audience, which comprised mainly of youth of varying sexualities including heterosexuals sought clarity on several issues and were interactive in the discussion forums.
Commenting on how LEGABIBO finds the perceptions of the general youth towards homosexuals, he explained that the understanding in Gaborone differs from that in other places. “I’ve worked outside Gaborone where culture and tradition are dominant, so you find that in the city and here in UB the youth are urban so are to a certain extent tolerant, the worst you can get is a slur,” he explained. He conceded that acceptance remained the biggest obstacle to most gay people being open about their sexuality.
The following comments are what some of the youth had to say during the film fest discussion;