Cape Town: Free Gender is black lesbian organization based in Khayelitsha. Our focus is to deal with homophobia and hate crimes in our townships. In 2014 Free Gender suspended its participation in Cape Town Pride because it continues to exclude lesbians and black LGBTI in decision making when planning for the Festival. When we attended or participated in the events, it was through invitation by a few white gay men who are gatekeepers in Cape Town Pride. We have repeatedly noted the exclusionary practices of those who organize Cape Town Pride. This is a problem with a long history. In 2015, Free Gender joined all the LGBTI organizations under the umbrella of Alternative Inclusive Pride to picket within pride to express our unhappiness about the exclusion of marginalized LGBTI individuals within CPTP.
In 2016 the CPTP suggested a “Colourblind” theme, which was condemned by diverse stakeholders in the LGBTI community. As a result of consistent pressure from the Alternative Inclusive Pride Network, the theme was changed, but this is not enough to ensure that Cape Town Pride is a space where all of Cape Town’s LGBTI community is welcome and included. We continue to demand the end of the arrogance of exclusionary white gay men within CPTP and also urgently request an AGM, in the spirit of transparency and accountability, in order to plan the way forward for the CPTP. This is the only way to ensure democratic processes are followed so that all of Cape Town’s LGBTI community can contribute to the planning and implementation of a Pride that is conducted in our name.
We are also disappointed by the Mayor of Cape Town who has not responded to the letter sent by the Alternative Inclusive Pride Network on the issue. It is unfortunate if the Mayor has already taken sides on the matter. We invite all activists, organizations who fight for unity in Cape Town on the basis of race, gender, class, and sexuality to join under the banner of Alternative Inclusive Pride Network on the 27th February 2016. Nothing about us without us!!
Funeka Soldaat (Coordinator) 0763210276