Port Elizabeth, South Africa’s fifth largest city, is set to celebrate Pride in September this year for the very first time.

The news was announced by the newly formed Pride Committee from the Eastern Cape Gay and Lesbian Association (ECGLA). The seaside tourism city boasts a population of over one million people.

The inaugural PE Pride will take place on September 24th, said ECGLA’s David Hessey. Events will include a parade and party. The organisers are investigating potential locations that may include along the Summerstrand or at St George’s Park.

In addition to ECGLA, other LGBT groups including Masipume, PEBears, PFLAG (EC), Without Prejudice, OUTRhodes, Eloquor Knights and SA Leathermen are expected to participate.

“We are a big city now and hopefully this will attract tourists to help the economy here and eventually maybe even create a few jobs,” Hessey told Mambaonline.com.

He added: “The theme for pride is ‘Born This Way’ so we will be emphasising our uniqueness that we were born gay and that it is not a disease. We also want to focus on corrective rape issues.”

The organisers have committed to contribute a portion of the funds raised to local charities, including an AIDS orphanage and a corrective rape crisis centre.

Hessey said that a meeting will be held next week with the local tourism board, which has already expressed its support for the event.

For more information about PE Pride contact hesseydavid@gmail.com.

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