GROWING UP I knew I was different from all of my cousins and I just didn’t know how to explain it. My other cousin at the age of 10 asked me if I knew how to kiss;and I said i knew because these girl was well versed in that department. She mocked me and I was adamant in proving to her that I know how to kiss. My perky ten years old lips reached for hers and like riding a bicycle our lips danced. The butterflies I felt in my tummy dont even
come close to explaining what I felt but I had to lie and said it was just a basic kiss. For the next 3 years, my cousin and I would occasionally rendezvous and Lord knows we moved from just kissing to you know what and at some point my grandmother almost caught us. By the age of 13 I discovered the word lesbian and I wanted nothing to do with it because the little research I did proved to me that homosexuality was a sin and all the consequences that came with claiming the label were frightening. I know, there were positive sides but my mind wouldn’t let me look at that. At some point I almost got suspended for “dating” because the sexuality crises had me convinced that dating a boy would somewhat make me straight. At 14 i was unfortunately raped but this is not the time for the story (there will be an entire chapter on it,trust me) and apparently that was an act of correction by someone who has heard I may be playing for the same team.. So that lead to PTSD,anxiety and other mental health illnesses (story for another day). Honestly we
need more than one post to get to know me so tune in and we unravel the story of me
“The power of coming together to deliberate, argue and agree is sacred. This is because it can never be brought back except for in memory. As we convene in our truth, in our hang overs and burdens – we destabilise a world order that denies our existence. We challenge the norms that question our validity and worthiness to be in public or private space – in liberty and in freedom – in community. That we can freely express ourselves in our anguish and delight, with our social history and connection to reality. That we are intentional in our belonging and becoming. We are together to avenge our dignity and proclaim to our younger beings: you are okay, you will be fine, you will survive” – Dumiso Gatsha
Describe how you felt being on radio, sharing your story, what it means for you and the community
“I was so happy to be on radio…. sharing my story to the community was the best for me coz I know my story well help so many people… That they still don’t want to go out there to ask for help so now I believe my message was heard and it will work and change so many lives LGBTI. It is all so that they can be free, to live as they wish. I am happy that they know that we are like any other human being and we have rights. It is not safe for us, we cannot develop ourselves freely as people talk about you everywhere you go. We are used for sex, we cry often and cannot seek out help. Sometimes it feels like living in death.
Share on your experience in Francistown and how engaging with residents felt, were there any differences compared to Gaborone?
Lot of people in Francistown they still don’t know a lot about LGBTI. Its less developed, culture rules and many gays are married due to family pressure. They can cover up just as others in Gaborone. There is more talk on the rights of LGBTI in Gaborone. Some just mind their own business and let others be.
You have once ran a small business, what is it like?
Running a small business its not a easy thing to do even to find clients… Being LGBTI means people will talk about you everywhere you go. I once tried selling to a man and he asked me many questions. He asked me how we have sex, he wanted to know if I am male or female. He made jokes. Business varied also because many would also sell similar products. But it was clear that being different played a role in how clients approached me. Especially those who deny our existence.