Soweto Pride Returns!
by Kellyn Botha
16 October 2017, South Africa
On 30 September Iranti went to Soweto Pride, organised by the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) annually since 2004, as a response to the inaccessibility of Johannesburg Pride, which was too far and too expensive for many LGBTI+ Soweto residents to attend.
Last year saw outrage from the LGBTI+ community when Soweto Pride was cancelled due to unfair restrictions placed on the event by the state, which classified it as “medium risk” after it had been considered “low risk” each year prior. The new categorisation came with pressure to charge participants for entry, and have increased police presence, which many saw as the state policing queer black bodies and expression.
Gladly, FEW has managed to revive this much-needed event this year and provide the local community with a way to be visible and take pride in identities which are still considered Taboo by many in South Africa.