For the first time ever, a South Africa Pride has a theme song specially composed for the event.
South Africa, with its liberal constitution and equal rights for LGBTQ+ people, celebrates a number of Pride events all over the country.
Pretoria Pride is claimed by its organisers to be “arguably the biggest” of these. Now in its fifth year, the upcoming event is set to become even larger with more than ten thousand people expected to attend.
In May, GaySA Radio, media sponsor for Pretoria LGBTI Pride, sent out a call for musicians to compose and record a song that links up with this year’s theme, Carnival. The selection has now been made and released just in time for the build-up to events leading to the main Pride event on 7 October.
The chosen song is called Human Being, by Cape Town singer Latheem Gabriel. The song speaks about the labels people in the LGBTQ+ community attach to themselves and challenges us to not be limited by these labels.
“Whether we are top, bottom, intersex, lipstick lesbian, or whatever, at the end of the day we are all human beings, and beautiful ones at that,” said the Pride organisers.
In an interview with GaySA Radio, Gabriel said the theme of the song was a no-brainer for him, as he wanted to write something that was inclusive and that encapsulated the various identities within the LGBTQ+ community.
He explained he wanted to honour those identities and encourage people to love themselves for who they are: “To limit yourself to this particular box or that particular category doesn’t give yourself room to grow, to change or evolve. It’s something I speak to in the song, about how confusing these labels can get, to the point where we don’t even get to identify ourselves any more.”
Gabriel added that Pride events are still important, as they are platforms to create awareness around issues that affect the LGBTQ+ community.
GaySA Radio said the song has received an “overwhelmingly positive” reaction: “Comments on YouTube and Facebook show that this is the right time for a song like this and that it can play a role in unifying the LGBTQ+ community, as well as creating more awareness in the general public.”
Pretoria LGBTI Pride takes place at the Centurion Rugby Club on Saturday 7 October 2017. There are two build-up events, the first a Wall of Remembrance on 26 August, and a Rainbow Colour Fest on 2 September. There will be a float building evening on 6 October before the main Pride event.