Who is Same Love?
Same Love Toti South Africa is a registered human rights based non-profit organization based in Amanzimtoti, serving the Durban area of South Africa that advocates for the human rights of sexual and gender minorities. Our goal is to empower LGBTQI+ individuals and work towards a more equitable and inclusive society, both locally, nationally and globally. We strive to reach out and engage with communities to teach understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQI+ community.
Our organization provides crucial psychosocial support to LGBTQI+ individuals in line with gender affirming practices, and inclusive and affirming perspectives on religion. We believe that diversity is a natural human trait and should be fully embraced and celebrated. Additionally, we work with multi-sectoral national and global organizations to achieve our goals and to create a more inclusive and equitable society for all.
Same Love Toti is committed to fostering a society where love, acceptance and equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are at the forefront. We strive to empower and uplift members of the LGBTQ+ community through inclusive family support, education on LGBTQ+ issues, prevention of discrimination and violence, development of supportive policies and promotion of inclusive education in safe schools. Together we can create a more equitable and inclusive community for all.
South African Constitution
It is important for individuals to be informed about the laws in South Africa that support and protect LGBTQI+ people and to know where to seek help if necessary. The South African Constitution prohibits discrimination against any person on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and the Constitutional Court is the highest authority in South Africa.
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has an LGBTQI+ National Task Team based in Pretoria that includes judges, magistrates, lawyers, police, and social workers who advocate for LGBTQI+ rights. Same Love Toti serves on the KZN LGBTI Task Team.
Same Love Toti has also been elected as co-chair of the Hate Crimes Working Group, a multi-sectoral organization that advocates for the implementation of the Hate Crimes Bill and actively reports and monitors hate crimes throughout South Africa.
LGBTQI+ people in South Africa continue to be targeted by hate crimes. At Same Love Toti, we work to support and educate those affected by the stigma society often places on LGBTQI+ individuals and their families. All people have the right to be treated equally, to feel safe, to love whom they choose, and to be their authentic selves.
The World Health Organisation
In 1990, the World Health Organization (WHO) recognized that homosexuality is a natural variation within the human race and not a sickness or mental condition that requires "curing" or change. The WHO's research shows that variations in gender and sexual orientation can be found among people of all countries, religions, races, languages, and socio-economic backgrounds.
In 2018, the WHO also took a step further by eliminating the classification of gender incongruence as a mental disorder from the ICD-11 codes. This move was made to decrease the stigma and misconceptions surrounding transgender and gender identity issues.
At Same Love Toti, we hold a vision of a world where every individual, irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics, is not only respected and valued but also fully affirmed for who they are.
Our mission is deeply rooted in building a foundation of loving families that stand in unity with LGBTI youth, their parents, and their allies. We are committed to nurturing understanding through education, fostering empathy within our communities, and tirelessly advocating until every heart and mind cherishes and embraces LGBTI individuals as equals.
Our unwavering values are the cornerstone of our journey:
- We believe that love and respect are not just ideals but the shared responsibility of all humanity. Gentle kindness is the key to nurturing loving families and creating a society where everyone belongs.
- Advocating for hate crime legislation is a crucial part of our commitment. We are dedicated to creating a legal framework that protects all individuals from discrimination and violence based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or sex characteristics.
- We are equally devoted to promoting the socio-inclusion of SOGIESC (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, and Sex Characteristics) in schools. Inclusive education is essential for creating a more accepting and understanding society.
- Celebrating diversity is at the core of our beliefs. We recognize that diversity is a beautiful part of nature, encompassing sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics. We are dedicated to listening, learning, and engaging with diverse communities to ensure that dignity and inclusivity are experienced by all.
- We understand the power of reliable information in dispelling myths and misinformation. We are committed to a lifelong journey of learning, empowering others, and consistently broadening our perspectives to create a society that is more inclusive and equitable.
Together, we strive to make a profound difference, working towards a world where love, respect, and acceptance, backed by legal protection and inclusive education, are not just words but the guiding principles of our shared humanity.