First held in 2004, the 9th Annual Soweto Pride March will be taking place on 28 September in the Johannesburg township.
The organisers, the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW), say that the march is a platform for LGBTIA people from Soweto and the surrounding townships and cities to reclaim public spaces.
“This space will be reclaimed with the Pride of being queer, without having to be apologetic about it or having to justify why one is different from the societal norms, who one is and who individuals choose to love,” said Dikeledi Sibanda from FEW.
The organisation noted that hate attacks and murders of LGBTI people in South Africa continue to take place, most recently that of Duduzile Zozo, a 26-year-old lesbian woman who was brutally murdered in her community in Thokoza in July.
FEW called on the public to change their mindset in understanding and respecting LGBTI rights as human rights enshrined in the Constitution.
“We are reclaiming this space precisely because we are not less of human beings as we are capable of doing all things that are done by the so called heterosexual people,” said Sibanda.
“In addition to all of this, we pay tax and contribute to the economic development and running of this country just like everybody else; therefore the discrimination directed to us is unnecessary.”
She went on to state: “LGBTI people of South Africa are reclaiming their space even in the health care, police and justice services where we demand full and descent delivery of services that do not further discriminate and victimise us.”
The march will kick off at 10am at Credo Mutwa Park in Jabavu, Soweto. The event will continue after marchers return to the park with speeches and celebrations until 6pm.
This year’s Soweto Pride includes a political programme, entertainment, stalls, a picnic and a kid’s village. The organisers said that participants are also welcome to bring camping chairs and picnic baskets.
For more information please contact (FEW) on 011 403 1906/7 or email@example.com.