As an out, gay, HIV+ minister, Paul constantly stands up against stigma and discrimination. His journey began at a young age, when he and his peers challenged the apartheid regime’s Group Areas Act to visit gay bars in Johannesburg.

He subsequently took part in South Africa’s first-ever official gay pride march, which brought gay men, lesbians and their many supporters into the streets to stand up for their rights and dignity.

Special thanks to the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa for providing this story.

Key points to consider in viewing Paul’s story

Gender discrimination takes many shapes and can also fuel homophobia. Paul’s story offers a chance to think about stigma and discrimination against those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT). Beliefs about what it means to be a “real man” or “real woman” often inform homophobia. As you watch Paul’s story, take time to be aware of your own sexual identity, your own gender identity, and your own attitudes towards those who are LGBT. Remember that discrimination and violence are never acceptable.

Learn More

Sonke works with many communities to use storytelling and digital media to help people tell their own stories around gender, violence, HIV and AIDS and related issues.

Sonke partnered with Silence Speaks to enable young people and adults affected by violence and HIV and AIDS to share their stories. Other digital stories have been produced with former prisoners who experienced sexual violence in jail. And the MenEngage African Youth Alliance and Sonke partnered with UNFPA to produce “Youth Stories of Change” along with a discussion guide and other resources.

Through intensive, participatory video production workshops, Sonke is bringing rarely-heard voices and images into the civic arena. Our hope is that by highlighting everyday stories, we will deepen existing conversations about gender norms and health issues, as well as empower the storytellers and their communities.

Download Resources

Click here to download a facilitator’s guide, discussion guides and other Digital Stories resources to assist in the use of these tools in your community.