Friday, 27 February 2015

Cape Town Must Give Pride Back to the People!

The Johannesburg People’s Pride Movement celebrates the emergent resistance against the exclusionary and elitist culture of Cape Town’s annual Pride celebration. From the moment of our inception, in 2013,  when we took on the project to boycott gay parades and reclaim Pride, we acknowledged that a Pride that unifies all LGBTIAQ people anywhere was and remains impossible if it does not reflect the diversity of the people of South Africa and actively campaign for the enjoyment of all freedoms for all people NOW!

It comes as no surprise to us that what sits at the heart of this challenge to the legitimacy of Cape Town Pride is its exclusion of the Black, the disabled, the landless and the poor. Indeed, what should be expected of a programme that situates itself in the affluent suburb of Green Point, where its activities must be paid for and its political agenda is centered around the freedoms we know can only be truly enjoyed by a few? What happened with Johannesburg Pride in 2012 and, now, with Cape Town Pride in 2015 only confirms that in the same way that there are two worlds in South Africa - one that affirms white, affluent, men above all else and another for the rejected and dejected rest - there are two worlds for LGBTIAQ people in Cape Town, Johannesburg and everywhere that queer bodies are to be found.

We remind all progressive LGBTIAQ people and allies that while the inequalities that characterise our society remain, there can be no freedom for queer people. Our vulnerability to violence as LGBTIAQ people does not emerge out of a vacuum, but is a direct consequence of our vulnerability to violence because we are women, because we are poor, because we are Black and because we are landless and discarded in the vast violent ghettoes that span from Orange Farm to Blikkiesdorp. In the same way that there was little to celebrate in the lush high-walled suburb of Rosbeank while violent evictions continue to happen in Hillbrow, there is little to celebrate in the non-poor only clubs of Green Point while the indignity of shitting in a glorified bucket toilet remains a reality for scores in Khayelitsha.

We say phambili to our comrades who will protest Cape Town Pride, demanding a broad-based community driven people’s movement! They will say you are mad Black queers not because you are out of touch with reality, but because they fear your capacity to imagine a reality in which we deliberately and decisively dismantle white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy - even in the queer spaces that claim to represent us.

Like our audacious, mad Black queer comrades in Cape Town, we are resolved that Pride is not an event, but a movement requiring collective efforts from individuals, organisations, communities, allies and families. We are unwavering that it cannot and must not be allowed to be owned by a privileged few.

The Johannesburg People’s Pride Movement pledges its support to the building of a progressive queer alliance of people in Cape Town that will reclaim a Pride that is for the people. We urge all comrades and friends in Cape Town to visibly occupy and assert their presence in Green Point, Traffic Department Parking Lot, 10:30am, 28 February 2015.

We urge all progressive LGBTIAQ people and allies from Cape Town to Johannesburg and everywhere in-between and beyond to stand together in boycotting commercialised gay-parades that delegitimise our struggles and reclaim our Pride!

Issued by:

The Johannesburg People’s Pride Movement

Contact Persons:

Sekoetlane Phamodi
076 084 8077