United Prides of Africa event will honour Pride Month virtually
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Pride organisations across the continent have joined forces to virtually host the second annual United Prides of Africa event. In response to an impending third wave, this is a way to celebrate Pride Month online this year.
The United Prides of Africa event will be hosted by countries represented by their various pride organisations. Among these are groups from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia and Eswatini.
Thomas Patterson, director for the event, said that although many Pride events have been cancelled or postponed, Pride should still be celebrated.
The virtual event will be live-streamed on Facebook and YouTube on Saturday, June 26, and will include input from artists, performers, activists and contributors who are rallying behind the event to show their support for the Pride movement. Drag queen Manila von Teez, human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, the Elton John Foundation and the Desmond Tutu Foundation form part of the contributors who will take to the stage on the day.
Last year’s United Prides of Africa event received 1.3 million views during its live broadcast from countries all over Africa, the US and Europe.
Patterson added that many community members on our continent are not as fortunate to celebrate Pride Month as we do in South Africa because of anti-LGBT legislation.
“The event aims to help those whose sexuality is illegal, and where they face discrimination, public humiliation, imprisonment, and in some countries, death - just for being who they are. They should still be able to celebrate Pride,” he said.
He added: “Our vision is to create a united Pride movement that promotes and respects bodily integrity and equal protection of human rights regardless of culture, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and sex characteristics, within Pride and Pride-like movements.”
Matthew Van As, the production coordinator for the event, says that this should be celebrated every day.
He said: “Pride Month exists to highlight and give visibility to LGBTQIA+ folks as we are a marginalised and abused community within Africa.”
Van As Added: “Events like these are for freedom and equality of LGBTQIA+ folks from all over the African continent. There is also a sense of visibility as queer Africans are not represented on the global queer stage.”
For more information about the event, see the United Prides of Africa Facebook page.