Young LGBTIQ Africans are a critical part of the LGBTIQ movement and in many instances lead organizations that are not necessarily youth focused but are at the forefront in the struggle for LGBTIQ rights in their regions and countries. However, many times there are limited spaces within the LGBTIQ movement for youth to organize and elevate issues that make them particularly vulnerable. As part of the effort to sustain the work of the movement in Africa, it is imperative that young people are provided a platform, support, and opportunities to facilitate a successful representation within all aspects of LGBTIQ-led organizing in Africa.In order to explore and elevate young LGBTIQ Africans voices within the movement, the African Queer Youth Initiative together with Advocates for Youth conducted a survey in April 2016 to spotlight the different challenges faced by young LGBTIQ people living in the African continent, highlight the common restrictions that affect their meaningful participation and involvement in the global LGBTIQ movement, and prioritize specific themes to inform and support a Pan-African LGBTIQ youth-led movement. All together 106 respondents from all over Africa completed the survey.
Responses Related to Discrimination, Challenges, and Concerns
Respondents were asked to identify the top three areas in which they have experienced discrimination. Below are the top three forms of discrimination respondents listed:
- Physical, Verbal and Emotional Abuse
- Eviction from house, work and community
- Rejection by family/clan, friends and from church
Respondents were asked to list the top 3 challenges they face as an LGBTI Youth and below are the findings:
- High rates of violence and persecution
- Lack of connection to other LGBTI Youth, safe space for LGBTI youth, friendly health services, sources of employment and lack of friendly social places.
Responses Related to Priorities, Advocacy, and Engagement in the Movement
In terms of advocacy, respondents felt a youth movement in the region should prioritize the following:
- Promote the leadership and involvement of young people in the development and realization of programs advocating for LGBTIQ rights
- Advocate for LGBTIQ youth inclusion in the design and implementation of LGBTIQ and mainstream youth programs
- Facilitate dialogue and networking between LGBTIQ youth and adult-led organizations on key issues
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