2014 Aug. 30: I’m a game changer, leader and activist


My name is Lesiba Mothibe also known as Lee. I was born on the 5 August 1984 in BBH
(hospital’s name) now known as Tambo Memorial Hospital. I’m the first born and have two siblings a brother and sister.

I matriculated in 2002 at Benoni Educational College, then in 2003 I attended FET the Ekurhuleni East Colleges. I graduated in 2004, obtaining the Clothing Production Diploma. During 2003 to 2005 I was also a Beauty Queen won 6 titles in 2 years. Including the most precious one to my heart as the first Miss Gay Daveyton in 2003, that’s when my life got exciting and I follow to enter other pageants in and around Gauteng.

 Lesiba best_2072

Featuring in Black Queer Youth series, Parktown, Johannesburg (2013). 

 I’m currently leaving in Daveyton, renting a room. I’m working as a Collections Consultant in a bank, studying part time Project Management Degree at UNISA. I also run and organize the Miss Gay Daveyton.

I love my Daveyton I want to bring change and positivity in the LGBTIQ community in my neighbourhood too. Though I stayed in other towns and townships, I eventually came back to instil the change I want to see in our township.

I’m a game changer, leader and activist. I’m also an introvert, come across as shy sometimes, but I have the ability to shine in any given situation. I’m mostly motivated by the thoughts of being average and normal. I push boundaries and create opportunities for myself. 

I’m a founder of Uthingo (the rainbow) together with other gays and lesbians in Daveyton. I was selected as a chairperson for two years until I resigned in order to pursue my own visions. I’m proud to have been part of the organization and wish them the best.

Yaya Mellisa & Me

Featuring in Beauties series… With Yaya & Mellisa in December 2013, in Durban South Beach… 

Funo Akhona Lesiba_7152

With my friends Funo & Akhona at Soweto Pride in 2012…     © Photos by Zanele Muholi

I have just turned 30, I’m loving it and thankful to the Lord for blessing me with such an interesting life. I grew up in a loving environment with both my parents. This would have marked their 30 years anniversary as they married a month after I was born. My father passed on when I was in matric, two weeks before I turned 18 and two months before I wrote my final exams. It was a traumatic year ever in my life as I lost my polar because we’re a close knit family. 
My mom was there for all of us, she’s a strong and powerful woman who stands and supports us at all times no matter what.

Everyone at home knows about my sexuality and they knew since I can remember.  My siblings have never discriminated against me in any form. My identity was always visual and I never had the pressure to hide and be in the so called closet. I’ve lived with my grandma mostly, she always told me how special and beautiful I was. She embraced me. I believe that helped everyone to appreciate and warm up to my uniqueness. The only discrimination I encountered was from the school, neighbourhood and church.

I like reading, going out for movies and drinks with friends, networking and implementing my ideas.

I believe there’s no time to rest while our community lacks knowledge and understanding, that’s why I haven’t moved out of Daveyton. I want to develop my township first and leave a legacy behind even though a lot of people always tell me that I’ve brought a change. I’m not yet satisfied with the little I have done. Hence they say charity begins at home. A good friend of mine said to me ” acknowledge and celebrate yourself, your achievements and congratulate yourself at all times because people won’t do that while you’re still alive. It motived me to write and tell my own story because I noticed it was true. We need to change our mindset and embrace each other while we still alive.

For a very long time I identified myself as a feminine gay man but I never found a sense of belonging and know myself. With lots of soul searching and learning more about different sexualities I’ve found my identity. I’m a proud feminine transgender, I endorse my uniqueness and caring myself with pride and dignity.

I have been dating my partner for nine years, he’s a bisexual man. I’m comfortable in dating bisexual man. Both our families know about our relationship, we seldomly go out to LGBTIQ events as he feels left out. We decided to separate our social life with our private life and its working-out perfectly. 
Love to me is pure and simple, beyond honesty and integrity lies trust which is the foundation of love.

Hate crimes are a nightmare to both homosexuals and their parents. We live in fear of being ourselves and embracing our being even though we have the most liberal Constitution in the entire world. We are not free, we face the same insults, get victimized all the time. We must make sure that our safety is in our own hands.

I have to be careful where ever I go and that’s not fair. How will killing me change anyone to be straight?
That’s why I believe we need the Justice Department which is disciplined.

My township is not different from any other South African township. I’m a hate crime survivor myself, the scars I have on my back shows how stronger I am. Even when it happened eleven years ago I still remember it like it was yesterday.

As a leader I would encourage homosexuals to stop discriminating against each other, that’s when heterosexuals get the strength to be homophobic. We need to stand up for each other and embrace our uniqueness. Let’s love one another. I would like to be part of a happier and successful LGBTIQ.

I would also like to open a gay Lifestyle Centre where I can be able to have variety of activities there, for instance a pub and grill, art gallery, theatre and a club. 

I’ve agreed to work on the Beauties Project because beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and any other form. I’m representing all the transgender man and woman who can’t celebrate themselves, not acknowledged and still fear to be themselves. The world needs to know that although we have the liberal and fair Constitution amongst other countries yet we are not free. The United Nations (UN) needs to intervene because our own laws are failing us.

Previous life stories



2014 Aug. 9: “I am not a lesbian by choice”





2014 July 26: “I was born this way and I cannot change the skin that I live in”



2014 June 25: I consider myself beautiful not handsome…



2014 May 24: The special boy



2014 May 7: I don’t like being identified in terms and definitions



2014 May 18: Behind the beautiful face you see is a lesbian who is torn into a million pieces



2014 May 30: I was a boy who would one day grow up to be a man



2013 Oct. 22: I thought university was for the rich



2013 Oct. 16: I am a beautiful young dyke, a woman lover



2013 Oct. 12: I just feel she deserves much better



2013 Oct. 2: I am a normal transgender woman’



2013 Aug. 22: Am exactly where I’m supposed to be



2013 July 15: The virus has become a silent relative



2013 June 27: Who I Am


2013 March 10: “I love women and they love me”



2013 February 28: I am not a Victim but a Victor





This entry was posted in Abantu, Activism, Activists Act, Allies, Another Approach Is Possible, Archived memories, Archiving Queer Her/Histories in SA, Art Activism in South Africa, Art Edutainment, Art Is A Human Right, Art is Queer, Art Solidarity, Articles, Arts, As we are, Beauty, Beauty pageants, Before You, Black Queer & Gifted, Collaborations, Collectivism, Community, Community Mobilizing, Connections, Contributors, Crea(c)tive senses, Creating awareness, Creative Writing, Cultural activists, Documentation; Filming; Photography; Community, Education, Emotional support, Empowerment, Evidence, Experience, Exposure, Expression, Family, Feelings, Friendships, Gender naming, Homosexuality, Hope, Human rights, Interpretation, Know Your SA Queer History, Knowledge, Lack of Resources, Lesiba Mothibe, Life, Life Stories, Love, Love is a human right, Media works, Networking, Our lives in the picture, Photography, Politics of existence, Portrait, Power of the Arts, Power of the Voice, Queer visibility, Readings, ReClaim Your Activism, Recognition, Records and histories, Reflection, Relationships, revolution, Sharing knowledge, South Africa, Speaking for ourselves, Textualizing Our Own Lives, Together we can, Townships, Visual history, Visual history is a Right not a luxury, Visual Language, Visual Power, Visual Voices, Visualizing public spaces, We Are You, We Care, We Love Photography, We Still Can with/out Resources, We were (t)here, When Love is a Human Right, Writing is a Right, Youth voices. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to 2014 Aug. 30: I’m a game changer, leader and activist

  1. Babewyn says:

    Reblogged this on Looney Babewynie, the jabberwock cook: and commented:
    Story telling is powerful …

    Thank you for your story Lee [Lesiba Mothibe].

  2. Pingback: 2014 Sept. 24: “At times I’d get jealous thinking she was taking my place” | inkanyiso.org

  3. Pingback: 2015 April 16: My story as a Zimbabwean Transvestite | inkanyiso.org

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  6. Pingback: 2015 Aug. 28: I have always wanted to enter a pageant | inkanyiso.org

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