Beverley Palesa Ditsie, was last week awarded the Safe Space Community Icon Award 2020. This award recognizes individuals from the LGBTQI+ community that have made an outstanding contribution to the LGBTQI+ community.
Beverly Palese who is a celebrated LGBTIQ rights activist in South Africa received the prestigious award alongside four other activists from across the globe. The other recipients of the Safe Space Community Icon Award 2020 are June Chua from Singapore, Francesca Curtis and Phyllis Papps from Australia, Alphonso David from Washington D.C., United States and Monica Benicio from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The annual awards also saw two African organisations recognized; African Queer Youth Initiative received the Safe Space Outstanding Space Award in the 2020 awards while Pan Africa ILGA was awarded the Safe Space Community Organisation Award.
ABOUT BEVERLEY PALESA DITSIE
Beverley Palesa Ditsie is a South African lesbian activist, artist, and filmmaker. Ditsie is one of the founders of the gay rights organization, Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand (GLOW)
Ditsie is one of the organizers of the first Pride March in South Africa. The parade took place in Johannesburg in 1990.Ditsie and her friend, Simon Nkoli, another activist, worked together on creating the pride event after Simon had the idea from his visit to America. During the event, she spoke on live TV, becoming a "cultural icon" and also a target for people's hatred and bigotry. She states that she had to be "escorted for about two weeks after the pride march" for her safety. Ditsie is critical of current pride activities because she sees a cultural and racial divide between LGBT people in South Africa.
Ditsie spoke at the United Nations Conference on Women in 1995, and was the person to address gay and lesbian rights before a U.N. 4th World Conference on Women." She attempted to convince U.N. delegates to "adopt resolutions recognizing sexual diversity.
EDITOR’S Note: Bio information sourced from Wikipedia