Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex (LGBTI)

Pietermaritzburg , KwaZulu-Natal

The Gay and Lesbian Network (GLN) is a registered non-profit organisation based in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. GLN has been operational since 2003 and in this time has done pioneering work with primarily young, unemployed and marginalized lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people living in and around Pietermaritzburg.

The Network started out in response to the need for LGBTI’s to have a safe place where they could meet and socialize, as no such spaces of facilities were available in Pietermaritzburg. From these beginnings it has developed into a fully functional NGO that offers a wide range of programmes and services to the LGBTI community. The organisation also works with the broader community to create a more enabling and welcoming environment, in which LGBTI’s can access services and be treated with respect and without discrimination or fear of violence.

The organisation has a staff of 15 and a core of committed volunteers who contribute to every aspect of the Network’s programmes including counselling, training, event organizing and general office support. Policies and procedures are in place governing the work and finances of the organisation and it is governed by a Board who meet on a quarterly basis.

Vision: To be a leading LGBTI organisation in Africa promoting equality, human rights and the upliftment of LGBTI people. Mission: The Gay & Lesbian Network ensures the upliftment and recognition of the LGBTI community through creative programmes for community members, service providers, religious and traditional leaders.

Core values: Our core values are equality, respect and acceptance.

GLN has three key strategic programmes which are Creating an Enabling Environment, Health and Outreach which focuses on engaging with key stakeholders and community structures at all levels of society in order to create awareness of LGBTI issues but more importantly for LGBTI people to take ownership of their rights and develop movement building in their own communities. We also use community theatre as a means to create awareness and sensitise communities on LGBTI issues.

The GLN has been awarded the following human rights awards:

  • Love to Live Human Rights award – 2014
  • Special distinction award from the French National Consultative Commission on Human Rights – 2012