South Africa has recorded another first with the launch of the country’s first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) video-on-demand (VOD) channel, Pride TV.

The channel aims to challenge the often traditional and linear programing offered by traditional channels, and intends to offer content, which encompass various LGBT issues and themes by South African and African broadcasters.

TV programmes in South Africa and across the continent tend to ignore and dissimulate the lived realities of the LGBT communities, and Pride TV intends to reverse the long-standing practice.

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Joanne Raphael Katz, Pride TV’s content manager says, “It’s about time that the neglected LGBT community has a voice, with content that spans all the issues that people can relate to. Not to mention the entertainment value that we are offering”.

“Traditional TV channels have historically offered only small smatterings of one-dimensional LGBT content, which ironically reinforces stereotypes, instead of shattering them,”

“PrideTV reverses the trend to restrict access to LGBT themes by South African and African broadcasters,” Katz reportedly said.

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Users will be able access the channel’s programmes online for R79 per month (U.S. 5) or R790 per year, and the content includes LGBT programmes, from comedy, drama, thriller to documentaries among others genres.

The launch of Pride TV is indeed welcome to ensure diversity in television, and to challenge longstanding stereotypes, and prejudice, considering homophobia and transphobia remain rife in South Africa, and across the continent.