Changing spaces for inclusion
Throughout his corporate career, Dibabatso Baloyi made inclusion and diversity a core part of his work.
“For me, inclusion and diversity are important, not only for our community but for every individual […] At the end of the day, working does not need gender nor sexuality,” Baloyi says.
Now as an auxiliary support officer at Iranti, he hopes to create change in the NGO space. This would be by creating awareness and knowledge about the LGBT+ experience as he did in the private sector.
“Why do we have to treat someone differently because they have a certain belief or a certain sexuality?” Baloyi asks.
While working for a travel company, Baloyi created the “Pink Dollar Project”. The project advocated for tailor-made LGBTI+ travel packages to best suit the needs and expectations of the LGBT+ community. The project deepened his passion for advocacy.
“My approach was based on: ‘Look at me as an employer, I am diverse, I don’t hire according to gender. Ask my employees, they are reflective of our principles of diversity and inclusion,’” Baloyi says.
Baloyi’s advocacy dates back to his university years at the Tshwane University of Technology. He would volunteer at Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA), researching for an initiative that would give lectures at various institutions on issues such as gender dynamics and trans health.
As a trans man in the working environment, Baloyi hopes to continue his advocacy journey through Iranti.
“I want to be remembered as someone who worked with integrity, someone who leaves their name on people’s tongues [and] show that a guy like me can live a normal life and bring change.”