Row brews over Cape Town Pride representation
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Cape Town Pride is pegged as a celebration of queer identity and an opportunity for the LGBTIQA (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Intersex Queer Asexual) community to proudly stand out.
However, the past two years has seen Cape Town Pride come under fire for its lack of representation, with The Alternative Inclusive Pride group demonstrating at the event to voice its discontent with its apparent disregard for bodies that are not white, gay, cisgendered and able-bodied people. The sentiment is shared by Funeka Soldaat, founder of the Khayelitsha-based lesbian advocacy group Free Gender.
“Cape Town Pride will never be inclusive because the City of Cape Town doesn’t see anything wrong with what Cape Town Pride is doing. The only effort that they do is to organise taxis for people of colour to attend the parade and make it look like inclusive. Black people will never be part of planning and there will never be a democratic process where the LGBTI community decides about the theme and how the parade must look.”
Matthew van As, one of the organisers of Cape Town Pride, responded to Soldaat’s remarks, saying he believes the festival is inclusive regardless of race, religion, sex or gender.
“Cape Town Pride’s committee is a mix of all races: white, black, Indian, coloured and Asian and are all involved in the planning and executing of events in the Pride week.
“I do agree that transport is provided, but it is (only) provided for members of the LGBTIQA (who) cannot afford to get to Pride. What Funeka does forget is that we raise funds for organisations like the Pride Shelter so that they can keep their doors open for LGBTIQA members (who) are in crisis. Festivities will get under way on Friday, culminating in the Cape Town Pride Mardi Gras on March 4.