Serving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community since 1994

The second-oldest LGBT organisation in South Africa, OUT provides stigma-free HIV, sexual health and other services to gay, bisexual and MSM communities. We also work to eradicate LGBT+ hate crimes and discrimination while assisting and supporting victims.

OUT’s Dawie Nel visits White House for LGBT hate crimes conference

Randy Berry, the recently appointed US State Department Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Persons, announced a number of initiatives at the conference to help address the problem.

Panel discussions were also held on the impact of community based organisations, the role of law enforcement and the judiciary and government actions and best practice.

Among the projects supported by the US, is the funding of South Africa’s Love, Not Hate programme. The initiative sees a network of local LGBTI rights groups providing legal, psychosocial and medical support to survivors of LGBTI-related hate crimes.

The programme, first launched in 2013, also takes on community outreach activities, training of mainstream facilities on LGBTI issues, and advocacy activities with the South African government. This includes working closely with the Department of Justice Task Team to address violence on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Nel, who attended the conference on behalf of Love, Not Hate, and was one of panellists discussing issues around NGOs working with government, said the event was informative and enlightening.

He commented that the South African government has shown positive and welcome initiatives to address hate crimes against the LGBTI community, but he expressed concern that these often “fall short” because “implementation is lacking.”

Nel explained that, “one of the challenges we need to address is how we partner with government to assist and keep them on track with implementation.”

Among the highlights of the conference was a briefing with US senators, a tour of the White House and the screening of the film Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine. The documentary is about the brutal murder of 21-year-old gay man Matthew Shepard in Wyoming in 1998.

The event was attended by Shepard’s parents, Judy and Dennis, who spoke after the screening about the very real human impact of hate-based violence; an experience Nel described as “deeply moving.”

In April last year, South Africa launched the continent’s first-ever government campaign in support of LGBTI equality, focused on tackling the upsurge in hate crimes against members of the community.

The government has also been promising to bring a hate crime bill to Parliament for two years but has still not announced when this will happen.


Have you been threatened, hit, raped or had your property damaged or stolen because you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI)? Then you have been a victim of a hate crime.
OUT offers exciting training to mainstream service providers and other interested parties. The training assists individuals to understand themselves as sexual beings.
Currently OUT distributes safer sex packs to a range of venues in Tshwane that are utilised by gay men and lesbian women. These packs also include responsible sex messaging, appropriate barrier methods and lube.
OUT's Engage Men’s Health project offers free and confidential sexual health services to gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM).