Trans and Gender Diverse Visibility Dialogue Fosters Transgender Visibility

EU helps analyze and mitigate violence against LGBTQ+ community


In their continued bid to raise the volume of the voices of the LGBTQI+ community in Botswana through dynamic conversations, ARTivism blog Bananaemoji recently hosted another dialogue. With the support of the European Union (EU) in Botswana, the blog created a safe space for those in attendance to share their different experiences, including coming out and transitioning as they discussed the dialogue theme of “Trans & Gender Diverse Visibility.”
Oftentimes many transgender and gender diverse people experience social rejection, fear and violence to a point where research suggests that around 40% of transgender adults attempt suicide before the age of 25. “We may not be able to radically change such statistics, but we wish to promote a more caring and accepting society that could save someone’s life,” said the event curator, Tanlume Enyatseng.

“It is truly an honour to collaborate with an esteemed organisation such as the European Union to cultivate spaces that lend themselves to the people with the voices seldom heard and often needed. This session aimed to explore issues around mitigating violence against trans individuals, understanding gender-affirming titles and how family and friends can offer support.”

The sessions were split into two halves, one half being dedicated to sharing personal experience with each participant free to contribute as much or as little as they wanted and the second half being dedicated to questions and answers. With the help of the community, Banana Club wants to pinpoint where societies and education practitioners are failing LGBTQ+ people and propose ways that might remedy this.

: “As the European Union in Botswana we are more than pleased to support this initiative, being the Banana Club, as ensuring inclusion of all members of society is essential to economic growth. Sexual and gender minorities are particularly important for the EU as our goal is to promote shared prosperity,” said Ambassador Jan Sadek, Head of the EU Delegation to Botswana and SADC.

Banana Club continues to aim at creating platforms for dialogue to lead the conversation about key issues in the youth and the creative and predominantly queer community. The club will create a network that works together and build ties with key stakeholders to challenge discourse, educate, empower and engage Batswana at large on matters affecting the youth, creative and LGBTQI+ community. Banana Club welcomes the support of allies that agree with its manifesto and wishes to work with them to achieve a certain aim.

“When we share our stories, we foster visibility and wipe out myths. The visibility that comes from different people sharing experiences, queering and disrupting views of the world is a celebration of plurality. Using stories, intentionally and unintentionally, to counter erasure, (and) to write and rewrite queer realities lends a hand to shifting social consciousness. When done properly, it offers people a better understanding of other people’s experiences and what occupying the world means for them,” said Tanlume