Joburg Pride 2012 Exposes Divisions within the SA LGBTI Community
South Africa, 6 October 2013
Iranti-org joined forces with activists from Zimbabwe, Malawi and Swaziland as we collectively celebrated our rights.
It would almost be too simplistic to believe that LGBTI persons in South Africa are one rainbow nation, bonded together by their sexual identities. When the One in Nine Campaign blockaded the Joburg Pride Parade, the organizers of the annual Joburg Pride immediately became aggressive and violent towards the One in Nine Campaign group.
There is much to be analysed about this violent altercation, however, it has become clear that the LGBTI agenda in South Africa is far from united. Although the theme for this year’s pride was “protecting our rights”, this shameful, violent outburst illustrates an unhealthy communication and political agenda within South Africa’s LGBTI sector. The divisions are as evident as those we face on a daily basis in South Africa. But it is indeed sad that we seem to have lost our sense of humanity, and as a result weaken our ability to communicate in a non-violent manner.
I questioned this as I sadly realized that living in South Africa as a black gender queer person is deeply stigmatized and painful. Black and queer have become generic terms that enforce and retain a certain anonymity about who we are as individuals in South Africa. We have no names, we are faceless, and we are grouped and clustered into an agenda of sorts. Sadly this does not provide any feasible solution to any group’s interest.
However, it still remained a joyful day, as the majority of black LGBTI people celebrated our rights outside the barricaded fences of Pride. I had a great time as I photographed and interviewed many gorgeous queer beings.
Phumeza from Jozi having a great time at Joburg Pride 2012.
Marco and Jerry, celebrating Joburg Pride 2012.
Sihle and Kopano at Joburg Pride 2012.
A topic seldom spoken about – BDSM and Kink in this fab continent, on display at Joburg Pride 2012.