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People’s Matrix celebrates 10th anniversary

Nthatuoa Koeshe

THE People’s Matrix, an association Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ) people, yesterday marched in Maseru in celebration of its 10th anniversary.

The march started at ‘Manthabiseng Convention Centre and ended at Central Park and was attended by LGBTIQ members from around the country.

The march was held under the theme “Celebrating our existence”.

The People’s Matrix programmes manager Arial Thoko said the event also celebrated the progress they have made in fighting for the LGBTIQ people’s rights.

She said the celebrations were also part of the community’s Pride Month adding that they intend to make the celebrations an annual event.

Arial said the celebrations were a period of reflection, when they acknowledge how far the LGBTIQ community has come because of the tireless work of those who fought for their rights.

She said during the Pride Month, they would acknowledge the turbulent history of the LGBTIQ+ civil rights movement, as well as celebrating the courage, strength and resilience that defines the LGBTIQ+ community.

“It is important to understand that the LGBTIQ community has been under oppression, discrimination, violence and harassment and LGBTIQ patrons have worked tirelessly to stop all that,” Arial said.

Arial said over the years, the LGBTIQ community has moved out of the shadows to rightfully claim their rights.

“Coming together as LGBTIQ continues to be a critical component of fostering a culture of equality.”

She said members of the LGBTIQ community in different spheres of life must not be discriminated against.

“If we are to live up to the democratic ideals that set the foundation for this country, we must ensure that all Basotho have an equal opportunity to live freely and successfully and we must treat all with respect and dignity.”

She said no one should ever be persecuted or held back from living their life because of who they are or who they love.

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