Simon Tseko Nkoli was a prominent gay and HIV/AIDS activist in Africa. In 1990, Nkoli became one of the first South African activists to publicly acknowledge his HIV-positive status. He was a founding member of the National Coalition For Gay and Lesbian Equality in South Africa. Nkoli spoke at many rallies in support of rent-boycotts in the Vaal townships and in 1984 he was arrested and faced the death penalty for treason along with twenty-one other political leaders collectively known as the Delmas 22. By coming out while a prisoner, he influenced the attitude of the African National Congress about gay rights which lead to them ultimately embracing South Africa’s LGBT community. He was acquitted and released from prison in 1988 and founded the Gay and Lesbian Organization of the Witwatersrand (GLOW), which held the first pride parade in South Africa in 1990. He was one of the first gay activists to meet with President Nelson Mandela in 1994. He aided the campaign for the inclusion of protection from discrimination in the Bill of Rights in the 1994 South African Constitution and for the repeal of the sodomy law, which happened in May 1998 in his last months. There is a Simon Nkoli Street in Amsterdam, a Simon Nkoli Day in San Francisco, and Simon Nkoli Corner at the intersection of Pretoria and Twist Streets in Johannesburg. I’ve only just learned about this man and what a hero he was.