Cape Town’s Triangle Project has announced the names of five people who have been awarded for their role in improving the lives of the gay community.

In a special Community Awards evening, held at the West End Jazz Club at the end of February, five finalists were presented with awards, acknowledging their support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender [LGBT] community.

“It is presented for the specific purpose of acknowledging our unsung heroes and recognising them for the personal sacrifices they make to make our communities a better place,” said Marlow Valentine, Triangle’s Outreach Coordinator.

Methodist Church Minister Greg Andrews was announced as the overall achiever for the 2006 Awards. He is described as someone who has openly spoken out against prejudice and discrimination towards LGBT people in general, and specifically challenging the church’s response and resistance to accept LGBT persons.

“Greg had a rude awakening to homosexuality when he was confronted by a note from his mom that she was leaving her marriage and her family for a close family friend: a woman! This stirred deep emotions of homophobia and prejudice – and for a long time Greg avoided contact with gay people. He was then confronted during his university years when a close friend confided in him that she too was gay,” says Valentine.

An independent panel of judges, comprising of past winners and finalists, selected Andrews as an overall achiever for his support to the LGBT community.

Others also recognised by the Awards were Angelica Horne, Carel Anthonissen, Belinda Cloete and Liesl Theron.

Angelica Horne from Steenberg on the Cape Flats started a club offering information, resources, condoms and events for LGBT people in the area, which has grown from strength to strength.

Carel Anthonissen from the Dutch Reformed Church regularly speaks out and acts on behalf of gay people from the pulpit, in synod meetings, and in the media.

Belinda Cloete hails from Atlantis and has dedicated most of her professional life to serving this impoverished community in her role as a field worker at the Atlantis Integrated HIV & AIDS Network.

Liesl Theron established Gender Dynamix, the only organisation in South Africa dealing specifically with transgender issues.

Triangle Project is recognised as the country’s longest running LGBT services organisation.

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