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To celebrate LGBT History Month, SSAP and Hub Cymru Africa invite you to join us for an online discussion dispelling the myth that queerness is un-African. Numerous black scholars have written on pre-colonial understandings of gender and sexuality in Africa, proving that queer Africans have always existed. However, queerness is still commonly thought of as a Western import. In this discussion, we will listen to queer activists and academics discuss the history and existence of queer people across Sub-Saharan Africa over the years and how over time, acceptance of queer people has changed in Africa. There will also be time for speakers to answer questions submitted anonymously by the audience on how Wales and UK partners can work in solidarity with queer Africans.

Panellists:

Zee Monteiro: Zee (she/they) is a community organizer, writer and poet. In their writing, they challenge the audience to reflect and engage on topics relating to Blackness, Queerness, Female Masculinity and Vulnerability. Their work focuses on creating safe spaces for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC groups within society and on the digital platform. With their website Qingsland.com, Zee is determined to discover and bring to light the truest stories of Queer Black History and futures.

Aderonke Apata: Aderonke Apata is a Human Rights Activist, Feminist and LGBT Equality Advocate. Winner Positive Role Model for LGBT National Diversity Award 2014, where she was described as “an unstoppable force in fighting for justice”, she is number 41 & 67 on the RanbowList2014 & RainbowList2015 respectively as one of the most influential LGBT people in the UK. Aderonke was named LGBT Heroine of the year 2015 by DIVA Magazine in recognition of her achievements in the LGBT community. Aderonke is the founder of African Rainbow Family, an LGBT group that supports LGBTIQ asylum seekers and people of African heritage in the UK and campaigning for the Repeal of the toxic Nigerian Anti-LGBTIQ Law. She also started Manchester Migrant Solidarity, a self-help group offering practical support and building a powerful political voice against the systematic mistreatment of migrants in the UK.

Zethu Matebeni: Zethu Matebeni is a sociologist, activist and writer whose research focuses on African queer studies. Zethu has written numerous journal articles, book chapters and edited and co-edited various volumes on African LGBTQI life, including Reclaiming African: queer perspectives on sexual and gender identities (Modjaji, 2014); Queer in Africa: LGBTQI Identities, Citizenship and Activism (Routledge, 2018); and Beyond the Mountain: queer life in ‘Africa’s gay capital’ (UNISA Press, 2020). Since 2020, she has been a visiting professor at the Nelson Mandela University’s Centre for Women and Gender Studies. Zethu is the National Research Foundation SARCHI Chair in Sexualities, Genders and Queer Studies at the University of Fort Hare, South Africa.

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