From the Stonewall Uprising five decades ago in New York to the famous JoBurg Pride walk and the very first pride march in eSwatini just last year!
One can’t ignore the POWER that is the Gay Rights movement.
Gay pride events, pride parades and festivals are all a celebration and a means to improve the visibility, acceptance and legal protections for LGBTQ+ people.
Depending on the country or city where the event is being held, the marches and parades often campaign for recognition and acceptance of same-sex marriage, legal protections for couples and families, anti-discrimination laws or trans rights.
Although African countries have some of the harshest anti-gay laws queer communities still find ways to FLOURISH.
According to Pride Dates here are some interesting facts about Pride Celebrations across the continent so far.
From 2012 to 2015, Uganda held four successful gay pride festivals with hundreds of gay and lesbian attendees along with their families. Fashion shows, documentaries, and traditional cultural performances allowed the larger community to connect with their LGBT neighbours. After being raided in 2016 and officially cancelled by government officials, organizers were forced to hold smaller, secret celebrations.
The future of Pride Uganda is still uncertain. Activists have begun fundraising to open the country’s first LGBT community centre, which the Minister of Ethics and Integrity condemned as a “criminal act.”
At a refugee camp sheltering LGBTI Ugandans and other asylum-seekers in Nairobi; plans are well underway for the camp’s second gay pride event after successfully hosting their first last year. Kakuma Refugee Camp has existed since 1992 and is one of the largest in the world, but cultural and religious homophobia and simple misinformation is rampant.
Festivities include the obligatory Pride Parade as well as a soccer match and trans model fashion show.
Last year, the continent’s last absolute monarchy held its first-ever gay pride parade in the city of Mbabane. Not only do they have colonial-era sodomy laws still in place, but its ruler has called homosexuality sick and Satanic. The parade was coordinated with the government’s approval…with only a few incidents of violence.
JoburgPride has been the longest-running LGBT event in South Africa. Inaugurated before the end of Apartheid in October of 1990; the event shares close ties with black empowerment movement. (October is also Pride of Africa month, a celebration of black history throughout the country.) Each year, a Pride Village is set up at Melrose Avenue and a Mardi Gras style festival is hosted by popular entertainers. Live music begins before and continues after the parade; info sessions on health, surrogacy and adoption, civil unions, and other LGBTI issues take place throughout the day.
Something we missed?
Let us know in the comments.