At times, it might be quite complicated to overcome barriers or boundaries that you have set with regard to your sexuality. My first CFCS (Changing Faces Changing Spaces)* Conference was a revelation, an enriching and life-changing experience for me. In the sense that, it has contributed enormously to my personal growth, my understanding of sexuality and pleasure as well as my advocacy strategies as a Young Queer Activist.
It really feels appeasing to be part of an inclusive, non-judgmental and safe space where you can express yourself freely about your sexual experiences and encounters. I really appreciated to participate in the self-organised session on sex and pleasure by the African Queer Youth Initiative. The session was funny, informative and inclusive. The majority of the participants were eager to interact and share their experiences without any taboo.
In addition, I got the opportunity to share my experience as a young Human Rights Defender during a panel session entitled: ”Structural Violence and the ways to mitigate it.” The other panelists from Cameeron, Egypt and Kenya were quite friendly and we did have time to exchange our different perspectives and our lived experiences as young Queer Activist during the session. I wish to mention that I was feeling quite nervous as it was my first time as a panelist. As the session went on, I was feeling more assertive and comfortable and delivered my intervention effectively. My intervention was focused on how the Young Queer Alliance has utilised various UN Mechanisms including human rights treaties to advance the equal human rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) in Mauritius.
My heartfelt was without any doubt my participation during the Grindr self-organised session. Indeed, it has been an intense, liberating and informative session. Speaking freely about sexuality and learning more about the sexual experiences of others as well as how the human body navigates in different spaces have helped me to re-evaluate my perception of sex.
Apart from attending the plenary sessions and self-organised sessions, I did enjoy myself by having a whale of time during the karaoke session and the departure party with my AQYI peers and other inspiring activists from Africa. I wish to end by saying that: “Be visible to make your voice and choices heard and to ensure that your freedom is not stripped away from you.”
* The CFCS (Changing Face Changing Space) is a pan-African biennial convening intentionally planned as a safe, creative and facilitative space for African activitists. The theme of this 7th edition is “ Visibility..Voice…Freedom.’”