Cape Town - A cocktail reception hosted by the City for delegates of the annual LGBTQIA+ activists gathering, currently happening at UCT has infuriated two local queer organisations, the Triangle Project and Free Gender.
The Kopano gathering, organised by the Other Foundation, is a platform that brings together LGBTQIA+ activists and allies, seeking to bring about equity for the queer community.
The organisations which are against this “partnering” argued that the City continues to fail and blatantly disregard the experiences of black queer people in the metro.
In a joint statement, the organisations said the convening committee's choice to partner with the City contradicted Kopano’s commitments to break the social and political isolation of the queer community struggles.
“The Cape Metro is a hotspot for hate crimes against LGBTQIA+ people in the country. Contrary to what its slogan says, the City of Cape Town has never worked for us, not for LGBTQIA+ people, women, and children, working poor, for sex workers, people who use drugs, or undocumented refugees from other African countries,” the statement said.
The organisations said they were infuriated by the City’s continued unresponsiveness to the issues affecting black LGBTQIA+ people in the metro.
They also said for years activists have fought for the transformation of Cape Town Pride and the support of the Khumbulani Pride which came into being as a result of the City’s unresponsiveness to the black queer organisations.
They said until their issues were addressed, they cannot accept a space where the City was allowed to posture and pretend to be an ally to all LGBTQIA+ people.
The City said the cocktail reception was organised following a request for a meeting with the Mayor, Geordin Hill-Lewis. It said funding towards the costs of the event and use of the Banqueting Hall in the Civic Centre was offered.
In response to the lack of support allegations, the City said its Events Department had not received an application for support from any organisers of the Khumbulani Pride. It said it supports events through a structured events support process where event organisers apply for funding.
The City also said it works with a range of partners, offering services and support campaigns in the LGBTQIA+ sector.
The Other Organisation CEO Neville Gabriel said the City was not a partner in the Kopano convening and was not involved in discussions. He said they have taken note of the issues raised about the City.