On 21 September, Neal Hovelmear, a Deputy Headmaster of St.John's Boys School in Zimbabwe, came out as gay to the school. He was subjected to death threats, ostracised and forced to resign.
This is 2018.
Marriage between same-sex couples has now been legalized in 26 countries, most recently Australia last December. Yet relations between two men or women is still considered a criminal act in 72 countries, and punishable by death in 8.
Come on people! This is appalling.
My home country Zimbabwe is beautiful. Ravaged by dictatorial control, poor economic governance and corruption, the population struggle through. Home to one of the seven natural wonders of the world (Victoria Falls/Mosi-oa-Tunya, "The Smoke that Thunders") the country is rich in wildlife and stunning nature. Zimbabweans are generous, kind and happy.
When my nephew told the story of Mr.Hovelmear, his deputy Headmaster, I was reminded that while Zimbabwe is such an amazing country in so many ways, it still has far to go in terms of LGBT rights.
To raise awareness on the appalling situation of (the lack of) LGBT rights in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa, I am going to walk across Barcelona: Poblenou to Plaza España (c. 10km). Underwhelming? On stilts!
I don't have to do a crazy circus act to raise money, but I am hoping doing something different will stir the hearts (and pockets) for those who feel different and alone.
Stand up for the GALZ!