Behind the Mask (BtM)

Behind the Mask (BtM) is a media NGO that publishes a news website, covering news about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people’s affairs in Africa.

It was formed in May 2000 by Bart Luirink, a Dutch journalist living in both South Africa, and Amsterdam.

Luirink came up with the concept for BtM while he was working as editor of ZAM magazine. He across many gay people who were living heterosexual lives, during his travels through Africa, and the idea for BtM was born.

For the last ten years, BtM has used activism and journalism to provide reliable information about LGBTI issues in Africa.

The information provided by BtM takes place in the context of widespread homophobia, criminalisation of homosexuality and prohibition of same-sex relationships in many African countries.

BTM is acknowledged as the prime source of reliable information on LGBTI affairs in Africa by a growing constituency, locally, regionally and internationally.

With the website, the organisation strives to give voice to LGBTI communities in Africa whose issues have previously been sidelined by the mainstream media.

At the same time, BtM aim to inform, educate, raise awareness and lobby for policy changes with a view to, among other things, change negative attitudes towards homosexuality and perceived notions about gender appropriate behaviour in Africa.

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1 Hood Avenue/148 Jan Smuts; Rosebank, GP 2196; South Africa
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