Info & Communications
In Zimbabwe where freedom of expression is seriously restricted through repressive legislation and other means and where an unofficial ban exists on lesbian and gay people speaking for themselves using the government-controlled media, the GALZ Information and Communications Department plays an important role in countering state-instigated propaganda. In this regard, it produces accurate and balanced information for dissemination to the GALZ membership and the broader public.
GALZ Book and Video Library
Until recently, gay and lesbian literature, specifically relevant to Zimbabwe, was virtually non-existent. Even today, there are still only a very few examples of Zimbabwean gay fiction that have been published in this country, all of them short stories.
During the 1990s, GALZ produced a quarterly magazine with a mixture of local and international content but, since 1995, the association has expanded its publication base to include a wide variety of titles of interest either to lesbian and gay people specifically, or to a wider audience.
- Sahwira is a collection of coming-out stories in English, Shona and Ndebele by gay lesbian and bisexual people in Zimbabwe (GALZ, Harare 1995, second edition, 2000).
- An Operational Manual for Gay and Lesbian Organising in Africa consists of 297 PowerPoint slides with information on how to set up an LGBTI organisation and conduct non-violent campaigns in hostile, homophobic climates in Africa. The manual also contains advice on financial management and strategic planning (GALZ, Harare, 2004).
- GALZ contributed the forward and other sections to The All-Africa Symposium on HIV/AIDS & Human Rights Report (2004), the conference at which The All-Africa Rights Initiative (The AARI) was officially launched.
- Understanding Human Sexuality and Gender (GALZ, Harare, 2005) is aimed at educating communities in Southern Africa about sexuality and gender from a non-heterosexist point of view. It specifically targets the Zimbabwean NGO community, in particular those organisations working in the fields of gender, health and sexual rights, but also appeals to members of the general public wanting to understand more about issues of gender and sexuality. (Order a copy)
The quarterly magazine, The GALZETTE, contains articles of interest to LGBTI people living in Zimbabwe such as reports on workshops, HIV/AIDS-related information, academic articles relating to homosexuality and the law and short stories by members.
The monthly WHAZZUP newsletter is lighter in content and appeals specifically to the GALZ membership who are aware of the context of the stories and the gossip surrounding them.
In order to provide members with information they need in relation to the services GALZ has to offer, coming out, lesbian and gay rights, relationships and health, GALZ regularly compiles small pamphlets and brochures which are specifically relevant to lesbian and gay people in Zimbabwe.
In addition to various planning reports, the association’s annual report comes out in February of each year and details the activities of GALZ over the previous 12 months.
There are also the occasional special reports on matters relating to sexuality, gender and the law most of which are written by GALZ’s Legal Consultant, the most significant being Sexual Orientation and Zimbabwe’s New Constitution: a Case for Inclusion which was GALZ’s submission to the Constitutional Commission in 1999.
Contributions to other Publications
Members of GALZ frequently provide interviews to journalists and film makers and contribute to local, regional and international publications such as:
- The Human Rights Monthly published by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum for which GALZ contributed to the edition on ‘Sexual Rights’
- ‘A Fair Representation: GALZ and the History of the Gay Movement in Zimbabwe’, (Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, Vol. 1 16 (1), The Haworth Press
GALZ also assisted with the IGLHRC/Human Rights Watch co-publication More than a Name: State Sponsored Homophobia and its Consequences in Southern Africa (2003). This report evaluates the effects of State-sponsored homophobia on the human rights of sexual and gender minorities in Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.