Same Love Toti offers various support services to the LGBTQI+ community and their families.
Make sure to check out our events pages to learn more about our LGBTQI+ meetings, transgender events, and more.
We also assist communities with the following services.
Sensitisation for communities
Communities that are experiencing homophobic violence can contact us to come and teach their community about sexual and gender diversity, while also expanding their knowledge about the law in South Africa, and finding strength in diversity. So far, we have addressed two rural communities and one safe house. In rural communities, it was the grandparents of LGBTQI+ youth that came forward in defense of their queer grandchildren, and it was also the grandparents who sought the help of social workers and the police station once they were made aware of the protections that were afforded to them and their grandchildren.
The safe house is a place for abused women and children to find accommodation and meals when they escape an abusive partner. Some of these women were lesbians fleeing their husbands, or lesbian teenagers fleeing their parents, or transgender women fleeing their communities. The staff needed guidance in the unique challenges faced by lesbians and gender diverse persons, and practical ways in which to deal with them.
Sensitisation for schools
Schools have often been a breeding ground of homophobic and transphobic bullying, leaving LGBTI learners with little protection due to the biases of teachers and parents, who believe that diverse genders and sexual orientations are undesirable, and that children should change and embrace heteronormative and cisnormative roles. We teach that it’s normal to be different, and it is not a choice that anyone would make, nor is it an evil to be avoided. Rather, this is a normal, natural, neutral variation found in the human race, much the same as left-handedness or red hair. Learners are very curious and have loads of questions that need answering – and usually neither the teachers, nor the parents are armed with the factual and research based information that is needed.
There are two sensitisation presentations: one for learners and one for teachers. Both have produced wonderful results, with the audiences being far better informed. Misconceptions have been addressed and corrected, leading to a deeper understanding and, ultimately, an acceptance of diversity. This acceptance makes the school a safer place, where all students are able to fully access their education and pave the way to a better future.
Thank you, Same Love Toti, for all you did to make the first LGBTI workshop in Toti happen – big love.
Other services we offer
Counselling in general:
- For parents
- For LGBTI youth
FOR PARENTS OF LGBTI YOUTH:
• Myths and misinformation around LGBTI issues
• The age-restricted version about LGBTI
• Parents’ brochure
FOR LGBTI COMMUNITY:
• Face-to-face peer counselling
• Suicide prevention
• Email support and resource desk
• Helpline from 08:00 to 16:00
• Support group (meets once a month)
• Youth group (meets once a month)
• Transgender sessions with psychologist (once a month)
• Intervention and support when facing homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, discrimination and hate crimes
Access to justice (we will intervene on the behalf of LGBTQI+ individuals or give them the tools to claim their own rights):
- Reports of discrimination in the workplace
- Reports of homophobic bullying at school
I like coming to Same Love Toti because at least here, I know that my child feels accepted and is safe to be who he really is. It is a relief to come here.