This year, Cape Town Pride has returned with insensitive and insulting slogans for the 2016 festival “Gay/Proud/Colourblind”. This theme entrenches separation along race, gender, class and sexual orientation; something which the Cape Town Pride should not stand for. This follows many demands from Alternative Inclusive Pride Network members that the Cape Town Pride be an inclusive and representative 10-day event for all members of lgbtipaq+ communities. These demands have been met with numerous delays, members being misled, and further marginalised.
As people concerned with justice for all citizens we have written to The City of Cape Town requesting the City to intervene accordingly in a festival that attracts many tourists in the name of gay and queer people. The Pride is an important festival to many. It represents moments in which we celebrate, mourn, interrogate, learn and unlearn ways to collectively advance LGBTIPAQ+ rights and causes.
Dear Mayor of Cape Town,
In 1993 Cape Town activists including Theresa Raizenberg, Midi Achmat, Zackie Achmat, Jack Lewis, Bassie Nelson, under Abigale (Association of Bisexuals, Gays and Lesbians) led the first Pride march in this city, raising awareness about people’s intersecting struggles along race, class, gender identity, disability, nationality, sexual orientation and HIV status.
Among the LGBTIPAQ+ community are faith communities, communities of refugees, asylum seekers, Black people, Coloured people, Indian people, sex workers, persons living in rural areas, township residents, people with disabilities, poor people, to name a few. The current events under the Cape Town Pride theme “Gay/Proud/Colourblind” unjustly excludes many of these people from participating in an event endorsed by the City of Cape Town. ‘Colourblind’ goes without saying as a slap-in-the face for a Pride event that is known to be racist.
The Executive Mayor of the City of Cape Town, we are appealing to you to intervene and support this Network in ensuring that Cape Town Pride is an inclusive, accountable and transparent festival for all community members in this City by:
• Holding Cape Town Pride accountable, in particular for its lack of transparency in its sponsorship from the City of Cape Town and other related financial support.
• Ensuring that Cape Town Pride is inclusive of all mentioned communities. As a Network we request that the City of Cape Town provide freely accessible and safe bus services (MyCiti) to all communities taking part in the Pride Festival.
• Being critical of non-inclusivity, exclusionary and elitist Cape Town Pride events that do not represent all groups and openly marginalise people on the basis of class, race, location, gender, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, gender identity, expression, and body diversity.
Until Cape Town Pride is inclusive and representative of all those marginalised in this City, we will continue to raise our voices and march under the slogan: “Kwanele – Nothing About Us Without Us”