The African LGBTI manifesto came out of a roundtable session held in Nairobi in April 2010. It is an important document which sets out clearly the foundation of the LGBTI movement and it’s connection to the broader Pan-African struggle for African liberation.
As Africans, we all have infinite potential. We stand for an African revolution which encompasses the demand for a re-imagination of our lives outside neo-colonial categories of identity and power. For centuries, we have faced control through structures, systems and individuals who disappear our existence as people with agency, courage, creativity, and economic and political authority.
As Africans, we stand for the celebration of our complexities and we are committed to ways of being which allow for self-determination at all levels of our sexual, social, political and economic lives. The possibilities are endless. We need economic justice; we need to claim and redistribute power; we need to eradicate violence; we need to redistribute land; we need gender justice; we need environmental justice; we need erotic justice; we need racial and ethnic justice; we need rightful access to affirming and responsive institutions, services and spaces; overall we need total liberation.
We are specifically committed to the transformation of the politics of sexuality in our contexts. As long as African LGBTI people are oppressed, the whole of Africa is oppressed.
This vision demands that we commit ourselves to:
Reclaiming and sharing our stories (past and present), our lived realities, our contributions to society and our hopes for the future;
Strengthening ourselves and our organizations, deepening our links and understanding of our communities, building principled alliances, and actively contributing towards the revolution.
Challenging all legal systems and practices which either currently criminalize or seek to reinforce the criminalization of LGBTI people, organizations, knowledge creation, sexual self expression, and movement building.
Challenging state support for oppressive sexual, gendered, discriminatory norms, legal and political structures and cultural systems.
Strengthening the bonds of respect, cooperation, passion, and solidarity between LGBTI people, in our complexities, differences and diverse contexts. This includes respecting and celebrating our multiple ways of being, self expression, and languages.
Contributing to the social and political recognition that sexuality, pleasure, and the erotic are part of our common humanity.
Placing ourselves proactively within all movement building supportive of our vision.
Note in response to some of the comments on this blog post, the group signing this document were all AFRICAN activists.