Which is your tribe? A unique campaign to reach the LGBT community

The “Tribes” campaign for OUT LGBT Well-being’s TEN81 Centre in Hatfield makes use of cartoon characters that represent a variety of subcultures within the LGBT community, known as “tribes”. Eight characters have been created by acclaimed Cape Town-based illustrator Roberto Millan.

The tribes include: Twink (a younger gay man); Daddy (an older gay man); Bisexual; Drag; Genderfluid; Gay Geek; Jock (a muscular, sporty gay man) and Bear (an older, more hirsute gay man). 

The characters are accompanied by a tagline: “We love who you are! No matter your tribe, TEN81 in Pretoria is your FREE health clinic for gay, bi and other men who have sex with men.”

tribes example 02Says Millan: “It’s terrific working with LGBT archetypes and having the opportunity to redefine and re-imagine conventional LGBT subcultures in a positive manner. Visibility is key, particularly in the health sector, where LGBT health concerns have often been largely ignored.”

While the campaign initially only targeted gay men and other MSM, OUT has just commissioned Millan to create three new characters that speak to the lesbian community.

“Our aim is to show that we embrace all of the diverse groups within the LGBT community, and that they are all welcome and accepted at TEN81,” explains Dawie Nel, OUT’s Director.

“We felt that cartoon characters, accompanied by bright pop colours, are a fun, tongue-in-cheek and visually striking way to get the message out there and to promote inclusivity and diversity,” he says.

The campaign has been rolled out on social media, in print ads, posters, radio ads and in flyers (on topics such as the importance of HIV testing and information on the use of HIV-prevention medication, such as PEP and PrEP).

The TEN81 Centre provides free services to men who have sex with men (MSM), lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people, sex workers (SW), and people who inject drugs (PWID). Supported by the Gauteng Department of Health, it’s believed that the clinic is the first of its kind to be funded by Government in South Africa. 

The staff complement includes two full time registered nurses and two lay counsellors. The following services are offered:

HIV counselling and testing (HCT)

Sexually transmitted infection (STI) screenings and treatment

Tuberculosis (TB) screenings

Provision of post exposure prophylaxis (PEP)

Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)

HIV management (CD4 and viral load)

Pap smears

Basic wound care and clean needles and syringes

General medical, sexual health, and safer sex consultations

Individual and couple counselling

Condoms and lubrication

The above services are free, professional, friendly, confidential and non-judgmental. Office hours are 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday. Appointments can be made by calling 012 430 3272.



High resolution images of the various “Tribe” characters are available on request from debarrosl@out.org.za.


OUT LGBT Well-being has been providing services to the South African LGBT community for more than 21 years. OUT offers sexual health and psychosocial services; conducts research; trains mainstream services to meet the needs of their LGBT clients; and lobbies for LGBT equality. OUT is registered with the Department of Social Development as a non-profit organisation. 

For more information please visit www.out.org.za or contact Dawie Nel on 012 430 3272 / neld@out.org.za.