Gabriel Hoosain Khan was once kicked out of home.
The reason? His family found out he was gay.
But instead of wallowing in self-pity, Khan, who grew up in Actonville on Johannesburg’s East Rand, became a human rights and social justice activist. And, despite his rocky start, Khan has now built good relationships with his family and community.
He is passionate about using creativity and art to empower marginalised youth. The 28-year-old recently co-authored a guide book called Creative Resistance, which assists community organisations working with youth in Southern Africa by sharing art, drama and writing exercises aimed at giving young people skills and knowledge they can use to actively advocate for their rights.
Khan previously worked as the coordinator of the Youth and Education Project at Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action, a human rights organisation, and he currently works as the Sexual Diversity and Rights Programme officer at Hivos, South Africa. As part of his job he works closely with marginalised rural communities across South Africa.
“I am always awed by the unique and imaginative ways young people express themselves. Through creative expression, not only can people share difficult stories, but creative expression can also help young people heal themselves and build visibility about the challenges they experience.”
Find Khan on Twitter: @coconutBOY101