Victory Institute and Triangle Project began partnering in 2016 to ensure the promise of South Africa’s strong legal protection for LGBTI persons is fulfilled. LGBTI people in South Africa remain underrepresented in the political arena and continue to face extreme forms of violence, which some data and anecdotal experience suggest is critically under-reported. Throughout 2017, Victory Institute and Triangle Project will work with openly LGBTI persons to strengthen political participation through training and capacity building. The unique timing of the project, right after the September 2016 elections, will serve to encourage the newly elected government to ensure that the rights of LGBTI people are upheld in their party’s work.
A Civil Society Forum gathering LGBTI leaders and elected officials was held in November 2016, and was attended by Zakhele Mbhele, the first and only openly gay Black member of Parliament. Three panels took place on the importance of cooperation among civil society and politicians, the role of allies, and the value of representation.