LGBTQI communities find Internet access vital during COVID-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, marginalised and persecuted LGBTQI communities in Africa find the support they need online, the media reports. It varies from health related information to fundraising opportunities and international networking. During Pride festivals across Africa, people have faced police harassment, arrests, and extortion. During the pandemic, Pride festivals are being organised online bringing these communities together socially and politically in online spaces. An Ugandan activist called the movement a ‘digital uprising’. In Ethiopia, where the penalty for homosexuality is up to 15 years of jail, Internet access enabled for online ‘Horn of Africa Pride’ festival to gather over 7700 people over Facebook and Zoom. ‘The Internet has always been a comparatively safer space for our queer bodies to communicate and find our kind […] getting connected to other queer beings is our coping mechanism,’ said an activist from Ethiopia.