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in ZIMBABWE, 27/02/2012

GALZ wishes to congratulate Taurai Zhanje on entering the the Mr. Gay world Pageant to be held in Johannesburg South Africa. Being one of only four African contestants and the first from Zimbabwe is a historical feat that we are extremely proud of. Taurai naturally becomes our ambassador and role model for the Zimbabwean Gay Community.

With the intense climate of homophobia existing in Zimbabwe and the restrictive legislation that makes it difficult for Lesbian Gay Bisexual transgender people to be open about their sexuality and to use public space in safety, Taurai has exhibited immense courage and boldness by entering the Mr. Gay World contest.

As GALZ we do not expect every individual Zimbabwean to embrace gay rights or the issue of homosexuality. But we do expect Zimbabweans to understand and promote the fundamental, inalienable and indivisible nature of human rights, including non-discrimination on the basis of race, gender, tribe, culture and sexual orientation

We Salute your bravery and hope that your participation will inspire us all to
come out and celebrate our lives despite the very difficult circumstances we live in. Zimbabwe has institutionalised homophobia making it difficult for the LGBTI community to lead positive lives hence we ecstatic about your participation as it demonstrates the resilient character Zimbabweans generally exhibit in overcoming challenges.

We wish you all the best and hope that you will win the ultimate title. The
Zimbabwean LGBTI Community is rallying behind you.

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