OUT launches booklet for service providers

To better deal with lesbian and gay clients

Janury 31, 2007

Yesterday OUT LGBT Well-being launched a resource booklet Understanding the Challenges facing Gay and Lesbian South Africans: Some Guidelines for Service Providers. It is the first of its kind in South Africa, and aims to assist service providers in meeting the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender clients in an appropriate and non-discriminatory manner.

Despite significant legal and policy gains made toward the realization of lesbian and gay equality in South Africa, recent research illustrates that these people continue to experience discrimination, marginalization and/or exclusion when accessing services.

Melanie Judge, OUT’s programme manager says “We need targeted programmes to ensure that service providers are equiped to deal with lesbian and gay clients in a manner that is in line with government policies of non-discrimination, and the principle of Batho Pele*. There are still harsh and homophobic attitudes out there, as a result of both prejudice and lack of information. The booklet we are launching hopes to address these service delivery challenges is a practical and accessible manner”.

The booklet is aimed at individuals and organizations across a range of sectors, including: health care worker; South African Police Service officials; mental health practitioners; counselors; educators and community workers.

The booklet contains:

  • Research and case studies on experiences and issues faced by sexual minorities in South Africa
  • Information on the relevant policy frameworks for service provision to LGBTI people
  • Practical tips and tools when delivering services to LGBTI people
  • A list of resources and referrals

    The booklet is part of OUT’s mainstreaming programmes towards strengthening the capacity of a range of sectors to better respond to the needs and issues facing LGBT clients. These programmes include sensitization training, policy review and materials development. Currently OUT is working with the Gauteng Department of Social Development, Lifeline Southern Africa and the Gauteng Department of Education.

    The booklet will be available from OUT’s office and in electronic form at www.out.org.za. – Issued by OUT LGBT Well-being

    *People First

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