Listen in as LoAnn Halden, Vice President of Communications for the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association, moderates this Africa Travel Week webinar on unpacking the importance of Pride events as drivers of tourism and change, especially in the African context.
The panellists dove into various topics within the LGBTQ+ community, focusing on how Pride events provide that critical push for countries, governments, and businesses to fully embrace the idea of inclusivity instead of merely ‘pinkwashing’ once a year in June.
Meet our panellists:
LoAnn Halden, Vice President, Communications, IGLTA
LoAnn Halden is Vice President-Communications for the International LGBTQ+ Travel Association (IGLTA), the global leader in advancing LGBTQ+ travel. IGLTA’s mission is to provide information and resources for LGBTQ+ travelers and expand LGBTQ+ tourism globally by demonstrating its significant social and economic impact.
In her role, LoAnn frequently speaks to global media outlets about LGBTQ+ tourism trends and has participated in travel sessions for consumers and trade on five continents, including EQUAL Africa, Barcelona LGBTI Tourism Summit, the New York Times Travel Show, GNetwork360 in Buenos Aires and the LGBT+ Travel Symposium Thailand. Prior to IGLTA, she spent 14 years working for LGBTQ+ publications, including two years as Associate Editor of Out Traveler, and has contributed to many outlets as a freelance writer. She is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and London with her wife.
Aisha Shaibu, Founder, Moonlight Experiences (United Kingdom)
Aisha Shaibu is a prominent queer activist, cultural producer, and one of the ‘Top 100 LGBTQ+ trailblazers’ changing the world. She is the founder of Moonlight Experiences: an award-winning platform dedicated to the celebration of queer culture through travel and experiences. Moonlight Experiences exists to tackle the lack of diversity in the travel industry by harnessing the economic power of tourism & nightlife to uplift queer women, non-binary, and Black/POC members.
Aisha’s passion for travel as part of @thequeernomads with her wife and her activism are intertwined, she is also the Head of Community Engagement at UK Black Pride and a trustee for GiveOut. Aisha truly believes in breaking down intersectional barriers and advocating for avid travelers to do better to create change that is impactful and sustainable so that our community globally can thrive.
Michael Gladwin, Finder/Owner, Afrigay Travel
Michael Gladwin is founder and owner of Afrigay Travel, Michael is passionate about ensuring that LGBTQ+ travellers have the most welcoming experience they can dream of. Afrigay Travel curates travel experiences, from same-sex honeymoons and weddings to group travel, and offer ground-breaking e-learning opportunities to help members of the global tourism industry understand the LGBTQ+ community through their All Stay online platform.
Nonhlanhla MC Mkhize, Cofounder and Executive Director, Lesbian & Gay Community & Health Centre
Cofounder and Executive Director of the Lesbian & Gay Community & Health Centre, a project of the KZN Coalition for Gay & Lesbian Equality. Founded 9 August 2000, the Centre is a drop-in and service providing non-profit which runs an Outreach Mosaic Clinic, conducts diversity training, human rights education and advocacy.
As human rights defender, has studied, volunteered and worked with a variety of organisations which have equipped me to run such a holistic drop-in centre and safe space, and to engage with, provide guidance to and lead within civil society structures.
Nonhlanhla is a process facilitator and human rights trainer specialising in Diversity, Sexual Offenses, Domestic Violence, and Human Trafficking; is Chairperson to S.A. National AIDS Council’s Civil Society Forum’s LGBTI Sector, and Co-Chair to the KZN Task Team on Hate Crimes. As a member of the KZN-GALTA, organises the annual Durban Pride Liberation March and Festival.
Rodney Otieno, Co-Founder and Director of Policy Development & Membership, Queer & Allied Chamber of Commerce Africa (QACC Africa)
Rodney is a dedicated social protection enthusiast, holding a Masters in Community Development and Social Protection. Growing up in western Kenya, Rodney was fortunate enough to have a very open-minded and supportive mother who supported Rodney’s natural path from childhood to being a proudly queer male. Rodney has worked in the humanitarian sector coordinating training programs for people living with disabilities, whilst also holding senior roles in the tourism and travel industry, which is his passion, having graduated with a Bachelor of Tourism Management.
Rodney’s travel consultancy, WKI Travel, focuses on providing safe and exciting leisure and corporate travel solutions for the LGBTQ+ community in addition to inclusive and accessible travel solutions for people living with disabilities.
Rodney is the Co-Founder and Director of Policy Development & Membership for the Queer & Allied Chamber of Commerce Africa (QACC Africa), an organization that creates an inclusive ecosystem for queer entrepreneurs to facilitate commercial relationships and economic empowerment, widening LGBTQ+ supply-chains throughout Africa. The Chamber of Commerce also provides inclusivity and diversity training to corporates and promotes the creation of safe workplaces for the LBGTQ+ community.
For more on LGBTQ+ travel click here.