1in9 Campaign have been actively protesting at numerous events since Zuma’s rape trial in 2006. Their purple T-shirts, their slogans and their message has been out in public for 6 years now. They are not responsible for the ignorance of certain sectors of the LGBTI community - who, if they had stopped to listen, and not reacted violently, could appreciate that that they were not the enemy. 1in9’s entire point was a protest against the event, which they believe has been hijacked by commercial interests, why would they then ask permission? It is up to every individual in every community to think before they react. AND NEVER TO REACT WITH VIOLENCE. And I think 1in9’s protest proved their point.
I got there on time but I missed the march, because of my own set of “white people’s problems” - I accidentally sprayed sunscreen in my eyes and blinded myself for an hour & a half. I couldn’t march. I only got to experience the love & togetherness on the field, meeting and dancing with a gamut of different identities. But the party has always been the party. It’s not the point of gay pride. The point is the face we put on in the public streets during the march. And the face of this year’s gay pride was ugly and racist and violent. This is the daily horror of black queers. I am angry because we will all be judged by the actions of the few, and how we respond. And we need to acknowledge that Pride has become a place of privilege and does exclude large sectors of our so-called community.
I went to Joburg Pride, even though I’ve hated the Rosebank route since it’s inception. There are too many high walls. The only people on the streets are those making their way in or out of the mall. It’s too middle-class, too homogenous… too goddamn safe. But I go because it’s an opportunity to experience a community and to be with those I love and to see friends who I’ve lost contact with.
But the commercialism and the pandering to white middle-class interests has always nauseated me. There may be a significant black presence at pride but it is always on white pride’s terms.
I’ll give White Pride a miss next time and every time after.
tagged as: Joburg Gay Pride,