Behind the Mask reports that gays and lesbians in Botswana marked World Aids Day near Gaborone on Saturday.

According to the website, this was a first in the country, and was hosted by the organisation Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals of Botswana (LeGaBiBo) in Tlokweng, just outside the capital.

Despite the bad weather around 50 people turned up for the party. Many wore t-shirts proclaiming “Not alone anymore.”

“We hope this bash becomes the beginning of a more open attitude towards the LGBT community in Botswana and we wish to see more LGBT [people] coming out. Every journey must start with a single step no matter how small and tentative.” Ookediste Kgosi, a Botswana human rights activist told the website.

Gay male sex is illegal in Botswana, and is punishable by up to seven years imprisonment.

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