Pride parades in South Africa
There have been pride parades in South Africa celebrating LGBT pride since 1990. South African pride parades were historically used for political advocacy protesting against legal discrimination against LGBT people, and for the celebration of equality before the law after the apartheid era. They are increasingly used for political advocacy against LGBT hate crimes, such as the so-called corrective rape of lesbians in townships, and to remember victims thereof.
The Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand (GLOW) was founded by gay anti-apartheid activist Simon Nkoli in 1988. The first South African pride parade was held towards the end of the apartheid era in Johannesburg on 13 October 1990, the first such event on the African continent. The first event attended by 800 people was initiated and organised by GLOW, and the crowd was addressed by Nkoli, Donné Rundle, Beverly Ditsie, Edwin Cameron and gay Dutch Reformed Church minister Hendrik Pretorius. In his speech, Nkoli said:
I'm fighting for the abolition of apartheid. And I fight for the right of freedom of sexual orientation. These are inextricably linked with each other. I cannot be free as a black man if I am not free as a gay man.— Simon Nkoli (First pride parade, Johannesburg, 13 October 1990)
Section Nine of the country's 1996 Constitution provides for equality and freedom from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation among other factors. Over time, the celebration factor came to overshadow the protest factor despite ongoing social issues. The 2012 parade was marred by a clash between activist participants and members of the Joburg Pride organising body, and the organising body disbanded in April 2013 due to internal conflict about whether the event should continue to be used for political advocacy. Two new committees were formed around May 2013. One of them was called "Johannesburg Pride" and would carry on the history of the oldest and largest LGBTQIA Pride in South Africa & (Africa), The other committee would organise a "Johannesburg People's Pride", which is "envisioned as an inclusive and explicitly political movement for social justice". As of June 2019, Johannesburg Pride is the largest Pride event in Africa.[a]
Free State Pride has been held in Bloemfontein, one of South Africa's three national capitals, since 2012.
Other pride parades held in the Johannesburg area include Soweto Pride which has taken place annually since 2005 in Meadowlands, Soweto, and Ekurhuleni Pride which has taken place annually since 2009 in the East Rand township of KwaThema. On 24 April 2011, LGBT rights activist and Ekurhuleni Pride Organising Committee member Noxolo Nogwaza was raped and murdered in KwaThema, in what was described as a hate crime by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Three years earlier, lesbian Banyana Banyana footballer Eudy Simelane was raped and murdered in the same township. In 2016, Ekurhuleni Pride took place in the township of Vosloorus. Since then, the event has been held in Centurion and KwaThema.
Limpopo Pride has been held in Polokwane since 2012. In 2015, various government officials, including the mayors of Polokwane and the Capricorn District Municipality as well as councillors and members of the police service, marched in the parade.
On 9 August 2014, a pride parade took place in Nelspruit. This marked the first time a pride parade was held in the province of Mpumalanga. One month later, on 6 September 2014, the town of Ermelo organised its first pride parade.
The Khumbulani Pride ("Remember Pride"), which aims to honour the lives of LGBT people lost in hate violence in the Western Cape, has taken place in different townships in the province every year since 2013. In 2013, it was held in Gugulethu and remembered hate crime victims such as 19-year-old Zoliswa Nkonyana who was stabbed and stoned to death in Khayelitsha in 2006 for living openly as a lesbian. In 2014 and 2015, it took place in the townships of Samora Michel and Khayelitsha, respectively. In 2016, the event was held in the township of Langa. Since then, the event has been held in Strand and Delft.
- As of June 2019, New York City’s NYC Pride March is North America’s biggest Pride parade. For Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019 up to five million took part over the final weekend, with an estimated four million in attendance at the parade.
São Paulo, Brazil’s event, Parada do Orgulho GLBT de São Paulo, is South America’s largest, and is listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest Pride parade starting in 2006 with 2.5 million people. They broke the Guinness record in 2009 with four million attendees. They have kept the title from 2006 to at least 2016. They had five million attend in 2017. As of 2019 it has three to five million each year.
As of June 2019, Spain‘s Madrid Pride, Orgullo Gay de Madrid (MADO), is Europe’s biggest, it had 3.5 million attendees when it hosted WorldPride in 2017.
As of June 2019 the largest LGBTQ events include:
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- SOUTH AFRICA: GAY PAGEANT AND NORTH WEST PRIDE SET FOR DECEMBER
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