Kutlwano ‘Bubbly’ Selaledi passed away on 02 April 2020. Their closest friends gave insight into the power, resilience and impact of a young activist gone too soon. Bubbly always found a way to connect with Success Capital in our engagements and impact related work. Having served as a critical member of a new collective, FrancisTrans, conceptualised and harnessed through our work – Bubbly shared themselves, their tragic past and their hopes within FrancisTrans‘ body of work. They shared themselves knowing how deeply lonely and isolating the world is. That often leaves us with life long struggles we have to relive and recount in institutionally repressive and systemically regressive public spaces and environments. They were a power and a force to be reckoned with. We have initiated a process to advance their work and legacy in resourcing other young activists. Actively moving into philanthropy to address the systemic shortcomings that exist in impeding the power and healing that activism provides for many of us.
Bubbly’s final message to the world read: “..much as I try to deny it, suicidal thoughts have been lingering in my head so much lately. I thought going back on my meds would be helpful but even with numbed emotions, I still stay in my head. Trust that the isolation isn’t helping because yes that just means ample time for me to be in my head and sucks coz my support system isnt as strong as I’d wish it would be.
Most if not all my friends love telling me how strong I am and I honestly want to believe it. It gets bad when the voices in my head are louder than everything and I keep hoping and praying that each day is better than the last. And then there is the unemployed part of all this that has me questioning why I even get up each day. It’s really hard battles my own demons with the ones life throw at me but I think I’m trying. Send warmth and hugs, these coming days are going to be harder than I expected.”
The many voices and triggers LGBTIQ+ Youth relive, face and navigate continue to build far beyond the moments, clicks and occurrences in our lives. They assimilate themselves and feel like they are our own. They claim undeserving space and condition us out of our own sanity. It is inescapable. Four days later, and three days since lockdown was imposed; another attempt within the community was made. It has been a challenging and complex road of self, community and organisational care for us. More needs to be done to truly realise our vision of shifting from survival to success. More needs to be done.