• Dozens of people cheer and dance as they take part in the Namibian LGBT+ community pride Parade in the streets of the Namibian Capitol in Windhoek. (AFP (Photo credit should read HILDEGARD TITUS/AFP/Getty Images))Source: AFP (Photo credit should read HILDEGARD TITUS/AFP/Getty Images)
Namibia’s first Pride parade has taken place in the city of Windhoek, with an estimated 150 people marching for LGBT+ rights in the centre of the capital.
By
Michaela Morgan

31 Jul 2017 - 12:55 PM  UPDATED 31 Jul 2017 - 12:57 PM

The ‘We Are One’ march saw members of the country’s LGBT+ community gathering with rainbow flags and carrying signs that read, ‘This is what trans looks like’ and ‘Gay rights are human rights’.

Same-sex sexual activity between men is illegal in Namibia, though not enforced. However, the country’s LGBT+ community is not protected by anti-discrimination laws and is often subjected to homophobia and transphobia.

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Friedel Dausab, is the director of LGBTI rights group Out-Right Namibia and tells News 24 that the community is in dire need of protection.

"The request is not for marriage,” he says of the protest march. “The request is for some legal protection to couples that live together."

The ‘We Are One’ Facebook page posted photos from the march, including what appeared to be religious protestors engaging with marchers.

“Thanks Gents for trying but JESUS loves us too!!” the post read.

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Namibia’s population is between 80-90 per cent Christian and the country’s churches are known for reinforcing anti-gay rhetoric.

A number of educational videos were produced for the Pride event with support from the European Union, Comic Relief and Out Right Namibia that feature LGBT+ Namibians sharing their experiences. 

Namibian rock star Miss H appears in one video and says: "I would say that in Namibia it is a little...constricted to be a lesbian. You can't just necessarily be a lesbian at your mama's house."

Transgender man Teddy Kandjou appears in another clip and says: "I'm on a journey of transitioning to be fully male. I was born female. But I believe that I was born in the wrong body so that's why I'm taking this journey in order to be myself fully."

The parade in Windhoek was part of an entire week of events celebrating the LGBT+ community, including workshops, health screenings, a rainbow church service and a lip sync battle.