South Africa Held Its Annual Soweto Gay Pride March In Spite of Increasing Hate Crimes
200 people gathered to participate in Soweto Pride in South Africa.
The Pride parade marched through sections like Meadowlands and Dobsonville in Soweto before eventually settling at Dorothy Nyembe Park, a subsection of Johannesburg in the country of South Africa, to protest the increasing hate crimes against LGBTQ people.
Going along with that goal, the theme of this year’s march was “Reclaiming Our Right To Organize.”
The reason for that theme was not only because of the increase in crimes targeting gay people, but also because 2016's Soweta Pride had to be canceled.
The local police had scaled up the threat level before the event to “medium risk,” which would have caused the pride organizers to pay an additional R146,000 ($10,602) in staging and protection fees.
Later, the Forum for the Empowerment of Women accused the authorities of trying to discourage the event from happening. Whether they meant it or not, that ultimately happened.
Poet Selogadi Mampane also recited a piece about the plight of the black gay community in South Africa and spoke of the many people who have been hurt or killed by recent hate crimes.
"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."