In a dramatic show of support for Cape Town Pride, the Western Cape Legislature building has for the first time been illuminated in the LGBTQI+ rainbow flag colours.
The annual Cape Town Pride Parade and Mardi Gras will be taking place in the Mother City over the weekend, the culmination of more than two weeks of LGBTQI+ affirming events and celebrations.
Councillor Rob Quintas, who is also the chairperson of DA Metro LGBTQI, told Mambaonline that the idea to light up the building was sparked by his taking part in an LGBTQI leadership conference in Germany last year.
“I was impressed at the efforts made by the various local and state governments toward inclusion and awareness of LGBTQI communities,” he said. He and his committee came up with some ideas to do the same in the Western Cape, which included lighting up the Provincial Legislature during the Pride festival.
The Premier, Alan Winde, was supportive of the idea as were the Pride organisers. Permissions were sourced from the Speaker and other stakeholders responsible for the management of the building, located in the Cape Town city centre.
“The result is a statement from the Western Cape Government that it stands proudly with its LGBTQI communities, and is an excellent visual for all residents and visitors to Cape Town over this period,” said Quintas.
Matthew Van As, Director of Cape Town Pride, is delighted by the colourful display. “I think it’s a great step forward that shows that the legislature in the Western Cape is recognising and supporting the LGBTQI community in such a bold and brave statement,” he said.
The City of Cape Town has also backed the Pride festival, offering it event support to the value of up to R350 000.
“We are grateful to events such as Cape Town Pride for providing a space for individuals to express themselves, raise awareness and celebrate who they are,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, Alderman JP Smith. “As an inclusive City, we want to reaffirm our support for the LGBT+ community through partnering with organisations such as Cape Town Pride who have committed themselves to doing good in our society and continuing the fight for equality.”
Smith added that “The event also provides a tourism boost to the local economy, through the approximately 6,000 people attending the Pride Week Festival from outside the city. This helps our efforts to create jobs and for that, the City is extremely grateful.”
The Cape Town Pride Parade and Mardi Gras will take place on Saturday 29 February. The parade will start at 12:00 at Chiappinni Street and will be travelling down the Fan Walk to the Mardi Gras venue at Reddam Field at Green Point Urban Park.
The Mardi Gras, which will include a moment of silence for those who have lost their lives to homophobia and transphobia, as well as a host of entertainment, runs from 12:00 to 21:00 at the park.