Johannesburg – After months of uncertainty about whether Joburg will host a gay pride parade after organisers quit, the city will now have two.
This highlighted ingrained divisions within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community that were unlikely to dissipate in the foreseeable future, activists said.
Last year, members of the feminist anti-rape 1 in 9 Campaign lay down in the middle of the Joburg Pride route in protest at the annual parade’s move away from political advocacy towards performance.
In April, the Joburg Pride Board disbanded over internal differences, throwing parade plans into limbo.
Last month, Pride resumed with the release of official march details, only this year the parade is split into two factions and it’s not entirely clear what the driving differences are.
When asked how Joburg’s LGBT people could combat corrective rapes and murders of gay people, Miss Gay Jozi contestant Candice Nkosi answered to resounding applause that the gay community would remain politically incapacitated as long as it was divided into sub-groups.
The problem is evident, members of the LGBT community admit, but the solution isn’t. Intolerance is perpetuated among the ranks of gay youth, and as long as institutions and society at large remain racially and economically divisive, there’s little hope for collaboration between gays and lesbians, between gay men and transgender women, between lesbians and bisexual women.
Motlatsi Motseoile, 23, is working for Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (Gala) to develop a reference database of resources for victims of LGBT hate crimes.
The project, Asiphephe, will be launched at the end of the month and aims to educate gay people on how to access a criminal justice system that often marginalises them.
Although LGBT people across the board suffered discrimination, Motseoile said, demographic differences could alienate one gay man from another regardless.
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