Klerksdorp’s first Pride March

Klerksdorp was abuzz with activity last Saturday when the annual Kings and Queens of North West LGBT Beauty Pageant and Talent Show was held at the Matlosana City Hall.

Almost thirty contestants entered in the various categories and more than three hundred people attended the event.

The day started at noon when Klerksdorp experienced its first Pride March through the streets of the city centre, to loud cheers and support from the locals. After the long trek around town on (sometimes) very high heels, marchers headed for the City Hall where the group played games and sang songs.

The line dancing proved particularly popular and everybody had a drink in hand and something to eat.

Held for the fourth time in the North West and for the first time in Klerksdorp, the event was supported by various organisations. Unisa Centre for Applied Psychology, Health 4 Men, Aurum Institute and OUT LGBT Well-being all had stalls with information and advice.

HIV testing was conducted and anyone who wanted to find out their HIV status had the opportunity to do so. Prizes were handed out to audience members who tested their HIV/Aids knowledge and condom skills.

Miss Gay North West Thabo Ramaele
(centre) and her princesses.

During the pageant, the audience cheered on their favourite contestants and participated in the various give-aways. The contest had various categories and the competition was fierce, to say the least. Contestants paraded on stage wearing casual clothes, swimwear and of course the highlight of the show was when they appeared in their glittering evening wear.

The judges, who included Jose Rodrigues (Mr Gay South Africa 2009 First Prince), Damien Engelbrecht of Pretoria’s Q Bar and Tshenolo Mabale from Mafikeng, had a difficult task of choosing the overall winners.

Sissie Mkize walked away with the Miss Lesbian title, while Neo Bonokwane was crowned Mr Lesbian. Thabo Mogale walked away with the Mr Gay title and the highlight of the evening was when Thabo Ramaele was crowned Miss Gay North West.

The winners will be involved in a Safer Sex Peer Education program and they will soon undergo training to help reduce the HIV infection rate in the province among the LGBT community.

They will also be asked to do volunteer work in their communities and help organise functions and events aimed at lesbian and gay people. The group of winners will make an appearance at the upcoming Joburg Pride in October.

The evening ended with various local DJ’s spinning discs until dawn.

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