Queer Dance Artist Looks to Open LGBT Conversation in Botswana

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Activism comes in many forms in Botswana, but Lesh Maseng’s show G.A.Y. is breaking society’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” attitude through contemporary dance.

Maseng is from Gaborone, the capital where gay-friendly bars, restaurants, and nightclubs flourish. But Botswana still criminalizes gay sex, but the law has not been enforced since the late 90s. Society is silent about the community instead. 

Maseng wants to break this silence with honesty in “Give All Yourself,” a show about his life as a queer dancer in Botswana — and starting out on stage naked is one way he represents that.

“Give yourself means giving my all to the audience, as a queer dancer and artist. Starting out naked is just a way of making that point in the most dramatic way possible,” he said to 76Crimes. “G.A.Y. is meant to convince people it’s okay to be gay.”

Other activism in Botswana includes LGBT rights organization LeGaBiBo and Batho ba Lorato, the first queer film festival outside South Africa on the continent. 


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