Alternative Inclusive Pride protesters at Cape Town Pride 2015 (Pic: David Lee)
Activists who accuse Cape Town Pride of excluding lesbians and LGBTI people of colour, amongst others, will be holding a silent protest at Saturday’s event.
Under the banner of the Alternative Inclusive Pride Network, the demonstration will “express discontent and reject Cape Town Pride in its current form as a space of exclusion and disregard for bodies that are not white, gay, cisgendered, able-bodied and privileged.”
The network, which also held a protest at the 2015 event, claims that attempts over the past three years to engage with organisers and efforts to convince them to hold an AGM have “failed dismally”.
The activists say that “Cape Town Pride has shown to be committed to a single-issue homo capitalistic anti-black, anti-poor brand of Pride.”
“Pride is and has always been a space for celebration and festivities, as much as it is a space for mourning, reflection, solidarity and support. We can no longer accept a Pride festival that ignores the vast issues and challenges faced by the broad LGBTIAPQ+ community,” said the network in a statement.
It insists that Pride must be inclusive of black LGBTIAPQ+ issues, transgender people, the homeless, the mentally ill, LGBTIAPQ+ sex workers, LGBTIAPQ+ families and children and must not be “commodified for hetero consumption.”
Cape Town Pride Director Matthew van As has previously told Mambaonline that the Alternative Inclusive Pride activists “appear just before Pride” every year and attempt to sabotage the event. He’s argued that Pride is open to all and that it is up to community members to play a role in the organisation and plan events that Pride can host.
Van As has also promised that the organisers will hold an AGM after the festival ends this weekend, but has not yet specified a date.
The Cape Town Pride Parade and Mardi Gras takes place on Saturday 27 February at Green Point Urban Park.
The parade starts at Gallows Hill Traffic Department in Green Point at 12pm. It will end at the P4 parking at the Cape Town Stadium. This will be followed by festivities at the Redham Field in the Green Point Urban Park until 8pm. Entry is R40.
The silent protest will take place at Green Point Traffic Department Parking Area from 11am.