Monday, 3 October 2011

A lesbian lost in Joburg Pride 2011

I attended Joburg Pride 2011 with eyes wide open.   My intentions were to observe on the racial divides, or integration. Solidarity amongst LGBTI, if there was an opportunity to learn and or grow beyond as a collective. To also note if Joburg Pride have the same purpose it wld have had many years ago. As to whether the LGBTI is aware about life realities faced by the African lesbians, whether LGTBI of color are able to help embrace challenges across the colors. And whether is served the purpose it is intended in creating awareness and advocacy about the LGBTI community issues and plight. I watched the divides and the festivities as they happened. There were divides and they are real.

There were lots of Africans ( blacks) outsides the cordoned area who seemed to be entering through a needles hole into the” white” area..  I was grateful though that there was no stampede or any hazards. I also made it my personal mission to personally to go to all Pride events in the year be it Cape Town Pride  2011 and Durban Pride 2011  to capture the difference.  I must say my findings were obvious Cape Town Pride was Amsterdam Pride; Durban Pride was Activists Pride, very lesbian. An African Lesbain is lost in Joburg Pride, the Gay community was there to celebrate a life, and lesbians to drink their worries away. After all the theme was Born Gay. Or was it Born tis way. Who cares, who cared

 The Joburg  Pride  2011  is  organized by whites who have made it in life, with no compassion  for or regard for the realities faced by their black lesbian sisters. I could imagine what was said by the organizers. The message shared in that boardroom was simple, “it not our problem, they need to leave the townships. Or do their thing, we can’t be gloom and doomed, at Pride”.  It seemed that the drivers are not the same; they are worried about revenues generated, instead of using the platform to generate an awareness. I am told the beer was R20 and chips and boerewors was R50.  I also wonder if they were able to consolidate all the activities that were happening culminating into the Pride on Saturday.

They had an opportunity of engaging media, to communicate a Pride Bus from Cape Town, the 1st LGBTI two days Business Conference sponsored by IBM, where organizations like CAILBT were pronouncing interventions for empowerment projects for lesbians in the country. I also doubt if the Joburg Pride Organisers were aware that the Department of Justice employees marched as a collective at the Pride including the  Deputy Minister Of Justice and Siphiwe Ntombela the Deputy Director: Victim Support and Specialized Court Services, from the Corrective Rape Task Team fame. Again an opportunity lost.

In the LGBTI Business conference, there was suggestion that in 2012, there should be a dinner hosted for activists who have helped change the landscape. I can imagine all the former organizers of Pride being acknowledged at that event.

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