‘Cape Town Pride doesn’t represent the black LGBT community’ say activists

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An LGBTI rights group in Cape Town has pulled out of Pride because they say it doesn’t represent black people.

Free Gender, an LGBTI rights group, have pulled out of the town’s Pride events claiming that they do not represent black LGBTI people.

The group has said that Pride, which will start on February 20, is “exclusionary” and unrepresentative.

Funeka Soldaat, who is the chairperson of Free Gender, said: “The events currently tabled for the upcoming Cape Town Pride are exclusionary and do not represent the black lesbian, gay, bisexual, intersex and transgender community (LGBTI),”

The group also pulled its support for last year’s Pride. They said that black LGBTI people were not involved or consulted in decision-making for the event.

“Free Gender, with other persons in their personal capacities, have attempted to negotiate with the current planners of Cape Town Pride for the creation of an inclusive space which recognises and speaks to the struggles of all LGBTI persons in South Africa. However, the current organisers have responded with blatant racism and bigotry,” Soldaat said.

“It is time that the Cape Town Pride organisers are made aware that black lives matter.”

Festival organisers have denied that they have excluded Free Gender from the Pride events.

“We put out a call for participation on our social media platforms asking all interested parties to get involved with our existing and new events. In response, six people attended the advertised meeting during which we elected the 2015 committee. A representative of Free Gender attended. Two of the people attending were white,” organiser Matthew van As said.

“Cape Town Pride does not see race or gender, but people willing to put in the effort and time, for free, to create gay spaces to celebrate being gay. We are Capetonians and gay. That is all we are.”