For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house – Audre Lorde
Cape Town Pride is without doubt one of the more anticipated queer events in South Africa’s queer calendar. But over the years, the city’s Pride has been harshly criticized for being apolitical and non-inclusive. Black queers, trans people, political activists, LGBTIA organizations and even heterosexuals have accused Cape Town Pride of catering mostly, if not completely, to the stereotypical flamboyant and elite White gay cis-male.
Regardless of how true these accusation are, I find it more interesting that even after so many years of dissatisfaction, boycotts and discussions about Cape Town Pride, nothing has been done – not by the people who run Pride but by the people who have a problem with how it’s run.
It almost seems like a classic South African story that as the majority displeased, we make little to no real effort to create a better and more favorable environment for ourselves.
Instead, we sit on the margins prescribing what can be done without carrying it out and committing to our own prescriptions by volunteering time, effort, skills and resources to Cape Town Pride, or even to establish an alternative Pride that serves our definition of the LGBTIA Pride. Yet every single year on that fateful last weekend of February, we act newly surprised by the apolitical, non-inclusive extravaganza. We are angrier, more frustrated and even ghastly shocked than the previous year and the year before that. We assert to do something, again. We hold meetings on the side, again. And then we just dissolve into the year…again.
Perhaps we ought to consider for a moment that Cape Town Pride as an organisation really does not owe it to us to create a Pride event that is political, inclusive or addresses serious LGBTI issues. The organisation is not the government where there are taxpayers to answer to. It is, from my understanding, an organisation run by ordinary civilians who are dedicating their own time and effort to create an experience they believe the LGBTIA community will enjoy and appreciate. Indeed it must be said that if a group of individuals take on the role of creating an LGBTIA Pride event, they also assume the responsibility of representing all LGBTIA members across the board. However, it still does not absolve the rest of the LGBTIA community from proactivity and participation in working towards the ideal Cape Town Pride event they want.
Granted, not everyone has complaints or feels dissatisfied with Cape Town Pride but for you, the whole lot of you who feel there needs to be more to Pride than just pink speedos and floats, who must create for you the Cape Town Pride that you want?Follow @sivusiwisa