Why We Exist
Purple Hand Africa (PHA) was started in 2018, named from the historic, Friday of the Purple Hand. This was an early symbol of the gay liberation movement and an effort to show resilience in the face of anti-gay attacks. October 31st, 1969 activists protested the San Francisco Examiner’s series of anti-gay articles by protesting in front of the building. Employees of the newspaper dumped purple ink on the peaceful protesters. The activists used the ink to draw slogans on the building and to make a visible mark of gay uprising.
Zimbabwe is one of the countries in the world where laws on the books criminalize same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults:
“Sexual deviancy” law passed in 2006 states that sodomy is any “act involving contact between two males that would be regarded by a reasonable person as an indecent act”
Members of the LGBTIQ community are heavily marginalised in both the legal and social spheres. As a result, many choose to remain in the closet, commit suicide, or migrate to countries that recognise their rights. However the grass is not always greener on the other side. According to a 2018 survey, 50% of gay men in Zimbabwe had been physically assaulted and 64% had been disowned by their families. 27% of lesbians also reported disownment.
Through a Rainbow Journey of Empowerment offered by PHA programs, we hope to change the narrative, by having an LGBTIQ community with a voice and a mark in the rebuilding of an all inclusive Zimbabwe that embraces its diversity.