Vaal Pride 2013

Vaal Pride 2013

The past two weeks have seen two Pride events taking place in Gauteng, ahead of a number of larger Pride marches planned for the province in the coming days.

On Saturday 7 September, the first-ever Vaal Pride took place in Shakespeare, Vanderbijlpark under the theme “Be Proud to be me”.

Around 30 people took part in a march “to reclaim the streets” and around 350 people joined a picnic after the procession.

The march had been planned to take place in the nearby township of Sebokeng, but was moved at the last minute by the municipality as it apparently clashed with another scheduled event.

Organiser Lebohang Kumalo accused the municipal authorities of “dropping us at the eleventh hour,” but described the event as a success nevertheless.

“It was well received by people in the area. We even had some straight people join us in the march. We had people coming as far as Welkom, Bloemfontein, Potchefstroom and Soweto,” she said, adding that Vaal Pride will be held annually.

Kumalo went on to explain that the event aimed “to make people aware that we exist in the Vaal community. That we are part of them, we don’t bite and we are here to stay”.

On Friday 13 September, a group of enthusiastic Wits University LGBT students and their friends – many in orange t-shirts – held a Pride march through the campus in Johannesburg.

Wits Pride 2013

Wits Pride 2013

The march from the Library Gardens to the West Campus and back to the gardens, was the conclusion of the university’s Pride Week, themed “Being Me”.

Speaking to the crowd gathered before the march, a representative from the Student Representative Council said that it was important to “make this campus a space for everyone”.

Hugo Canham from the Wits Transformation Office added: “We will march until homophobia is buried underneath our feet.”

Click here to view a gallery of picture of Friday’s Wits Pride.

Gauteng’s LGBT community has more Pride events to look forward to: Ekurhuleni Pride is set to take place on Saturday 21 September; Soweto Pride and Johannesburg Pride on Saturday 28 September; and People’s Pride and Pretoria Pride on Saturday 5 October.

For more details on these Pride events, click here.

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