| JOHANNESBURG

Soweto gay pride march against hate crimes

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Last year’s event was cancelled

Photo of a man with the rainbow flag
A member of the gay community poses with the rainbow flag. Photo: Ihsaan Haffejee
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Over 200 people took to the streets of Soweto on Saturday to celebrate the 2017 edition of Soweto Pride. Members of the gay community marched through Meadowlands and Dobsonville in Soweto protesting against hate crimes against them.

The theme this year was “Reclaiming our right to organise” after Soweto Pride was cancelled in 2016. That year Johannesburg police upscaled the event from low to ‘medium risk’ which would have resulted in the organisers having to pay an additional R146,000 to stage the march. At the time, the Forum for the Empowerment of Women accused authorities of trying to discourage the event.

This year’s march went ahead without any issues and ended at Dorothy Nyembe Park. Selogadi Mampane recited a poem about the plight of the black gay community who still face marginalisation in South Africa and are the most affected when it comes to hate crimes.

Mampane read out a list of names of women who have been killed for being lesbian. “I keep thinking, who are we going to lose next?” she said. “I am alive, we are alive and we should be celebrating that fact.”

Marchers take to the streets of Soweto protesting against hate crimes that target the gay community.
A participant in Soweto Pride 2017 poses in drag
Marchers posed for photos after the march.
A participant shows off her neck jewellery.
This couple came to Soweto Pride in matching outfits.
A participant camps it up for the camera at Soweto Pride 2017

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TOPICS:  LGBTI

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