Although the Cape Town Pride Parade proved to be a success, concerns have been raised by participants about the limited number of people who attended the additional street Parade in Gugulethu township on Sunday 18 February.

This year’s Pride aimed to reach out to people in various communities, especially in the township of Gugulethu which has a number of gay bars and clubs. This was with a view to engage all in matters concerning the gay community as this has not always been the case. However, the outreach Pride event in Gugulethu saw a decline in attendance this year.

“Poor attendance is caused by lack of support from the black community in the townships and those in town as well. Pride is for all of us [gay people] to meet, intertwine all cultures and celebrate who we are”, said Ronnie Ngalo, member of the Cape Town Pride Committee.

Others feel that organisers set the wrong example as they also do not always attend township events. “It is only after the Parade that people start to show up and most of the white people do not even come. Pride is an identity and an event to support when you are gay, and if you do not support what is done at home how can the rest of the world understand the importance of the event?”, asked Nkuli Kubule who attended the Gugulethu street parade.

According to Brian Kruger, a member of the Cape Town Pride Committee, the lack of attendance in Gugulethu was the result of people’s negative attitude towards townships. “The difficulties that we came across do not mean that we have failed. We are going to look at the outcomes and hopefully have something better next year, this is a step in the right direction,” he said.

According to Fehraad De Nicker from Cape Town Pride, attendance at the main city parade and street party “was double, if not more, than last year or previous years.”

By Lesego Masike

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