ECPNA was established by black transgender woman activists living in Eastern Cape in 2017 with a purpose of defending the rights of Lesbian,Bisexual,Transgender,Queer and Intersex women in post-apartheid South Africa. The constitution of the Republic of South Africa guaranteed that no one could be discriminated against on the grounds of gender, sexual orientation and increasing numbers of LBTQI people were coming out and being visible, both in everyday life as well as within human rights work. However, at the same time discrimination, stigmatization and marginalization were becoming more blatant. It was clear that there was a need to organize ourselves to claim and live the rights entrenched in the Constitution. Initially, the focus was on creating a safe social space and service provision, including psycho-social support and legal advice and education on issues such as health.
A key focus was on the issues of violence against black LBTQI, particularly corrective rape, torture, beating,harassment,blackmail and other illegal acts targeting LBTQI women which were being reported growing numbers. It was also clear that this violence was being perpetrated based on assumptions about gender identity and sexual orientation which were seen as deviant and so worthy of violent responses from communities. This violence was directed to LBTQI people, but the targeting of black lesbian, bisexual women, transgender women and gender non-conforming individuals for “fixing“ and that it was linked to the patriarchal nature of our society which in turn fed hetero-normativity, was obvious.
ECPNA is committed to being a leading organization in the fight for lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex women rights within South Africa, with educators and activities that cover most of the Eastern Cape, facilitating community based work and influencing public policy which positively impacts the LBTQI population in South Africa, with an emphasis on racial and economic justice.
ECPNA is an organization dedicated to the acceptance, affirmation, and upliftment of LBTQI people in South Africa through political advocacy, community-based education, public health and the production of human rights reports.
The values of the organization in all aspects of our work and throughout the organization as we pursue our mission, we live by the values listed below. Together, they provide a picture of who we are and how we want to be:
Respect: Acceptance of others in a non-judgmental way; valuing the person/thing engaged with:using organisational resources in mindful and appropriate way; not misusing any resources or abusing power derived from any role or position.
Accountability: Engaging, service and reporting to the constituency, ie LBTQI women; is beyond finances and fulfilling organizational roles; including implementing the mission of the organization and remaining
honest to the vision of the organization.
Love: Is the opposite of fear; courage in tackling difficult issues; showing compassion and care.
Humanity: having compassion, and understanding our connectedness to one other and placing ECPNA work within a human rights context.
Community: We look to the LBTQI community as a key source of leadership and insight, and we invest in the power of people, organizations, and movements to advocate for themselves.
Justice: We believe that justice for LBTQI people is inextricably tied to a larger movement for social justice for all marginalized communities.We are fiercely dedicated to securing equality,dignity,and justice in the daily lives of all LBTQI people especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
Diversity: We are committed to respecting and celebrating the rich diversity of our community and to creating a fully inclusive LBTQI community.