Two and a half months ago, the results of the survey carried out were shared on Duma FM.
70% of the participants were male and a similar percentage considered themselves men – inclusive of one Trans person. This was a suprise considering most people who engaged with The Cookie Jar on the LGBT segments were female. A majority of listeners who called in and those who texted were female.
The majority of respondents were between the age rage of 21 and 25 years old (55%), with the next highest percentages ranging at 18.33% (35 – 40 years old) and 10% (18 – 20). With Duma FM having an older demographic, in terms of listerners, this was also a bit of a suprise. Facebook engagement could also be attributed with the relatively young majority of respondents.
With regards to sexuality, 45% of respondents are heterosexual, 47% homosexual and 8% considered themselves in the other field. One limitation however, could be the fact that people cannot differentiate between sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
A large 80% of participants knew a gay or lesbian person, this could indicate the willingness to participate in such a survey and other community awareness raising initiatives. This could signal the interest in which non-LGBT persons have in engaging with their community. In previous local activist engagements, it had been noted that only students or unemployed LGBT persons would be engaged as most advocacy initiatives were held on weekdays, during work hours.
70% of participants did not think that same sex attraction is morally wrong. This mildly reflected observations on radio when the questions were asked, as an equal number of listeners thought so or otherwise. A window of opportunity is created through this result, such that communities can be educated on acceptance and LGBT issues. Those who selected “other” constituted 5% of all participants.
52% of participants believed that someone can be born gay and 22% saw it as a choice, furthermore 18% didnt know and the remaining 7% didnt care. This is a good indication that acceptance, optimism and understanding of LGBT persons can transcend through all people, with a little more knowlegde, a better society can be developed for LGBT persons.
52% believed that gay and lesbian people did not have the rights heterosexual people enjoyed, which 40% believed they did.
87% of respondents would remain friends with someone who came out to them as gay and 3% (of which were men) said they wouldn’t, with 10% saying they wouldn’t know.
LGBT persons, now more than ever, have the opportunity to showcase their talents, gifts and contributions towards a better life. If both LGBT and non-LGBT persons can be accepting or in the least tolerant enough to consider how they would behave around an LGBT person, this could bring about nation-wide change. Botswana is well positioned to become the pillar for LGBT rights in Africa. The strategic positioning of the SADC Sectretariat, inimitable history of non-violence in its independence story and national strategic mechanisms for the well-being of Batswana leave ample opportunity for truly insipring lives, protecting the vunerable and ensuring a healthy African soceity. As a young person, it give one much joy to live in the context of possibility and stability for a better life.