The current Zimbabwe Criminal Law Act makes specific sexual acts illegal, but falls short of criminalizing LGBTQ+ status. According to popular belief homosexuality is a crime. Homophobic statements by government leaders contribute to a misinformed, highly discriminatory sociopolitical environment. The intolerance levels have led to more LGBTQI+ individuals facing health disparities linked to societal stigma, discrimination, and denial of civil and human rights. Discrimination against LGBTQI+ persons has been associated with high rates of psychiatric disorders, substance abuse, and suicide. Since inception Purple Hand Africa has provided mental health services for LGBTQI+ individuals across Zimbabwe, created audio visual advocacy campaigns for online platforms and built regional partnerships through our Community Art Workshop, Expressive Writing Camp and Storytelling docuseries projects. Our Storytelling project, focusing on producing docuseries aimed at humanizing LGBTQI+ narratives in Zimbabwe aims to address a challenge we get in the media coverage of LGBTIQ stories by the Zimbabwean media. The coverage is on a small scale and in the rare instances where they mention LGBTQI+ identities they tend to focus on issues that only sexualise or identify our identity with sexually related illnesses. Through our Storytelling project we produce docuseries that give multidimensional narratives of Zimbabwean LGBTQI+ people. Thereby helping in the inclusion of LGBTQI+ rights in various spheres of nation building and developmental policy restructuring. The project assists in giving the LGBTQI+ sector a referral advocacy tool with real life LGBTQI+ voices from the whole spectrum as well as from different provinces, which helps in giving a stronger voice in fighting for policy changes affecting the LGBTQI+ community. The project helps reframe queer identities, which is essential for our advocacy on socio-economic policy reforms to be effective.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (February 2021)