Lesbian‚ gay‚ bisexual‚ and transgender activists in Zimbabwe have commended the bravery of a top private school deputy headmaster for openly declaring his sexual orientation during assembly.
Dr. Neal Hovelmeier teaches at St John's College‚ one of the country's elite schools. He made the announcement to pupils at the school last week.
Hovelmeier said in a statement that he had decided to lead by example because of some of his former students' experiences.
"I have become increasingly aware that a number of former students who gain the confidence after school to pursue their chosen orientation‚ have reported back to me experiencing an environment of intolerance‚ intimidation and homophobia while they were at school‚," he said.
The headmaster‚ Cav Trinci‚ said in solidarity that the school was open to diversity‚ be it religious‚ sexual‚ racial or disability.
Activist Ricky Nathanson from Transgender Research‚ Education‚ Advocacy and Training said the bold move by Hovelmeier was a major victory for minorities and the marginalized in Zimbabwe
"It is encouraging to witness the bravery and honesty of Dr. Hovelmeier on his announcement of who he truly is. That takes absolute bravery‚ introspection‚ and demonstration that one needs to be true to who one really is‚" he said.