Colours of the Rainbow - Pride Month

Melusi Simelane
Matsapha, eSwatini (Swaziland)

I have never known about being in the closet. I just lived my life without having to discuss, express or inquire about my sexuality and why it was different from many. Living in a christian family, meant there was no room to discuss these issues. However, today I am able to talk about my experiences, and by so doing encourage many to open up about their experiences and their life story. It is absolutely important to share our stories, as they encourage the young to never be afraid of who they are. It is important that we open up about our hardship and ill treatment so we can know to never repeat them to those that come after us. 

As a passionate scholar and activist, I am an invaluable resource in driving the fight against discrimination forward through education, dialogue and capacity building. This was first demonstrated in the hosting of the inaugural Pride Celebrations which took place in June 2018. This was only just the beginning. As a leading voice of the cause for ending stigma and discrimination against social minorities in Swaziland and globally, I am is a symbol of selfless leadership that recognises humanity as a guiding principle.

Advice to a younger me would be very simple and unwavering. "Do not allow those around you to tell you that you are not enough. Never listen to anyone who casts doubt about your potential. Never allow yourself to even entertain the thought of being less of a human." 

It is important that we know the love and sincerity of LGBTI persons, and not bother ourselves about what they do in the comfort of their bedrooms. This is key in respecting the fundamental human rights for all.

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