Hundreds brave the rain for Ekurhuleni Pride 2015

Pic by Cobus Benade

Pic by Cobus Benade

Last Saturday saw hundreds marking the seventh annual Ekurhuleni Pride at Germiston Lake, outside of Johannesburg.

Despite the grey skies and rain, the Pride boasted its largest turnout to date, said organiser Ntsupe Mohapi, from the group Epoc LGBTI.

This year’s outing was the first time the Pride was held in Germiston’s busy business centre rather than in one of the area’s townships.

Under the theme of “Standing up against gender based violence and HIV/Aids,” a few hundred marched in the streets around the Golden Walk Mall, singing and holding up banners and rainbow flags. Pamphlets on LGBTI issues were also handed out to bystanders.

After the march, hundreds more gathered to socialise and celebrate the LGBTI community at Germiston Lake.

“It was the first time that we did a march in town so people received it well. The people came in numbers, perhaps because we also offered free transport for the first time,” Mohapi told Mambaonline.

She said that support from the Ekurhuleni Aids Council also helped make the commemoration “bigger and better.”

The event’s focus has consistently been on the LGBTI hate crimes that have plagued East Rand townships over the years. Mohapi said she believed that moving the event out of the townships would not see it lose focus.

“We’ve done it in the townships in the past and people didn’t come,” she explained. “This time we wanted to bring all the townships together in a central venue where everyone can reach it. Looking at the numbers, it’s never been this big before, probably because it’s central and Germiston Lake is well known.”

Mohapi added that Epoc LGBTI plans to work with other groups in Ekurhuleni and is looking to possibly host mini-prides or workshops in individual townships if they are needed.

“But we are going to keep this one bigger and in a central venue,” she said.

More pictures of Ekurhuleni Pride 2015 by Cobus Cobus Benade below.

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