Last month, the Durban University of Technology (DUT) held a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Awareness Dialogue at the Arthur Smith Hall, City Campus in Durban.
This event was not only aimed at raising awareness but to also commemorate LGBT Pride Month. LGBT Pride month reflects on the stonewall riots that took place end of June 1969. Due to these riots, various pride events are being held during the month of June in order to recognise the role of LGBT people in the world.
Welcoming guests at the event was the Faculty of Arts and Design Executive Dean, Dr Rene Smith who highlighted the importance of celebrating diversity in our society. “We need you to help us so that everyone is heard. We don’t have all the answers that you might have but we can create more inclusive spaces that accommodate everyone regardless of their sexuality. We need to create spaces that give everyone a sense of belonging and not feel less important,” she said.
Imbewu: The Seed actress, Anathi Gobeni emphasized the importance of such a dialogue especially for an institution of higher learning. “This event will teach us about LGBT, we hope that by the time everyone leaves here, they will know the differences of LGBT and we will go out there and make an impact as well as change people’s perceptions,” said Gobeni.
During the event many attendees expressed how they have at least once in their lives battled with the idea of fully knowing their sexuality. Others expressed gratitude at the Faculty of Arts and Design for taking the initiative to host such a much-needed dialogue.
The event was sponsored by the department of Student Housing and Residence Life, Faculty of Arts and Design and Department of Student Governance at DUT. Various guests from all walks of life, including students and external guests attended the event.
Pictured: Some of the speakers at the LGBT Awareness Dialogue.