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.[1][2] They are increasingly used for political advocacy against LGBT hate crimes, such as the so-called corrective rape of lesbians in townships,[3] and to remember victims thereof.[4][5][6][7]

Women marching in Joburg Pride parade in 2006


Simon Nkoli speaking at the first pride parade in 1990
Soweto Pride 2012 participants protest against violence against lesbians with a "Dying for Justice" banner and T-shirts which read "Solidarity with women who speak out".
Soweto Pride 2012 participants remember two lesbians who were raped and murdered.

The Gay and Lesbian Organisation of the Witwatersrand (GLOW) was founded by gay anti-apartheid activist Simon Nkoli in 1988.[8] 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.[1][2][7] 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.[1][8][9] In his speech, Nkoli said:[8]

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.[1] 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,[7][10] 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),[11] The other committee would organise a "Johannesburg People's Pride", which is "envisioned as an inclusive and explicitly political movement for social justice".[12][13] As of June 2019, Johannesburg Pride is the largest Pride event in Africa.[a]

Cape TownEdit

Annual pride parades have been held in Cape Town subject to interruptions since 1993, and as part of the Cape Town Pride event since 2001.[1][2]

The Mother City Queer Project (MCQP) costume party has also been held annually in Cape Town (nicknamed the Mother City) since 1994.[27][28]

Other areasEdit

Nelson Mandela Bay Pride has taken place annually in Port Elizabeth since 2011.[29]

Free State Pride has been held in Bloemfontein, one of South Africa's three national capitals, since 2012.[30]

Other pride parades held in the Johannesburg area include Soweto Pride which has taken place annually since 2005 in Meadowlands, Soweto,[4][5] and Ekurhuleni Pride which has taken place annually since 2009 in the East Rand township of KwaThema.[31][32] 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.[33][34] Three years earlier, lesbian Banyana Banyana footballer Eudy Simelane was raped and murdered in the same township.[35] In 2016, Ekurhuleni Pride took place in the township of Vosloorus.[36] Since then, the event has been held in Centurion and KwaThema.

Pretoria Pride has been held annually in Pretoria, South Africa's executive capital, since 2013.[37]

Durban Pride has been held every year in Durban, the largest city in the province, since 2011.[38]

The Pink Mynah Festival is held in Pietermaritzburg, the provincial capital, in October. The event includes a beauty pageant, a fashion show, a pride parade and a picnic.[39]

Limpopo Pride has been held in Polokwane since 2012.[40][41] 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.[42]

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.[43][44] One month later, on 6 September 2014, the town of Ermelo organised its first pride parade.[45][46]

The first pride parade in the province was held in November 2007 in Mahikeng, the provincial capital.[47]

Pride parades have taken place annually in Klerksdorp since 2010.[48]

On 1 October 2016, a pride parade was held in the township of Kanana.[49]

The Pink Loerie Mardi Gras has been held in Knysna since 2001.[1][28]

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.[6][50][51] 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.[52] Since then, the event has been held in Strand and Delft.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 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,[14][15][16] with an estimated four million in attendance at the parade.[17][18]

    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.[19] They broke the Guinness record in 2009 with four million attendees.[20] They have kept the title from 2006 to at least 2016.[21] They had five million attend in 2017.[22][23] As of 2019 it has three to five million each year.[24]

    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.[23]

    As of June 2019 the largest LGBTQ events include:
  1. ^ a b c d e f de Waal, Shaun; Manion, Anthony, eds. (2006). Pride: Protest and Celebration. Jacana Media. pp. 4–7, 20–22, 33, 37. ISBN 9781770092617. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Tucker, Andrew (2011). Queer Visibilities: Space, Identity and Interaction in Cape Town. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 169–172. ISBN 9781444399776. Retrieved 22 July 2014.
  3. ^ Strudwick, Patrick (4 January 2014). "Crisis in South Africa: The shocking practice of 'corrective rape' – aimed at 'curing' lesbians". The Independent. Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  4. ^ a b Lind, Amy (2010). Development, Sexual Rights and Global Governance. Routledge. pp. 161–162. ISBN 9781135244606. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  5. ^ a b Naik, Sameer (25 September 2010). "Black lesbians show their pride". Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  6. ^ a b Mama, Sibongakonke (19 May 2013). "Pride and purpose in Gugulethu". Sunday Argus. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  7. ^ a b c "Joburg Pride rocked by divisions". News24. 20 June 2013. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  8. ^ a b c Hoad, Neville Wallace; Martin, Karen; Reid, Graeme, eds. (2005). Sex and Politics in South Africa. Cape Town: Double Storey. pp. 30–31, 169, 191, 239. ISBN 9781770130159.
  9. ^ Gevisser, Mark; Reid, Graeme (1995). "Pride or Protest?: Drag queens, comrades, and the Lesbian and Gay Pride march". In Gevisser, Mark; Cameron, Edwin (eds.). Defiant Desire: Gay and Lesbian Lives in South Africa. New York: Routledge. pp. 278–283. ISBN 9780415910606. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  10. ^ Blignaut, Charl (13 October 2012). "Some of us are freer than others". City Press. Archived from the original on 7 August 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Johannesburg Pride".
  12. ^ "SA: Statement by the Peoples Pride Organising Committee, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, asexual, and queer organisation, on new Committee to organise People's Pride Johannesburg (20/05/2013)". Polity (Press release). 20 May 2013. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  13. ^ Du, Susan (19 June 2013). "Two gay pride parades for Joburg this year". The Star. Archived from the original on 23 July 2014. Retrieved 23 July 2014.
  14. ^ Allen, Karma; Katersky, Aaron (2 July 2019). "Millions more attended WorldPride than expected". ABC News. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  15. ^ Caspani, Maria; Lavietes, Matthew. "Millions celebrate LGBTQ pride in New York amid global fight for equality: organizers". Reuters. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  16. ^ Cannon, Sophie (12 June 2019). "New York City to unveil largest rainbow pride flag in city's history". New York Post. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  17. ^ O’Doherty, Cahir (4 July 2019). "Irish march at historic World Pride in New York City". Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  18. ^ Lynch, Scott. "Photos: Massive Turnout For Euphoric NYC Pride March: Gothamist". Gothamist. Archived from the original on 3 July 2019. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  19. ^ Ripardo, SÉRGIO (28 May 2008). "Guinness exclui recorde da Parada Gay - 28/05/2008". Folha Online. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  20. ^ Lawler, Opheli Garcia (18 June 2017). "Brazil Holds World's Largest Pride Parade". The Fader. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  21. ^ Sheets, Cassie (1 June 2017). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Pride". Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  22. ^ Petrov, Arkady (30 June 2019). "2019 LGBT Parade in São Paulo Raised R$403 Million for the City". The Rio Times. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  23. ^ a b c d "Pride 2019: The world's 15 biggest LGBTQ celebrations, from New York to Tel Aviv". USA Today Travel. 10 June 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  24. ^ Nomadic Boys (11 June 2019). "South America's best Pride parades". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  25. ^ Duffy, Nick (20 February 2019). "Glitter has been banned from Australia's biggest Pride celebration". PinkNews. Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  26. ^ Mohamed, Amarra (6 June 2019). "Pride in Pictures: Johannesburg's Pride parade is the biggest in Africa & there's a reason why". Retrieved 9 July 2019.
  27. ^ Harrison, Philip (2005). South Africa's Top Sites: Gay and Lesbian. New Africa Books. p. 43. ISBN 9780864865687. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  28. ^ a b Rogerson, Christian Myles; Visser, Gustav, eds. (2007). Urban Tourism in the Developing World: The South African Experience. Transaction Publishers. p. 193. ISBN 9781412840828. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  29. ^ Kimberley, Kathryn (24 September 2012). "Gay pride spills over in Bay streets". The Herald. Archived from the original on 29 July 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  30. ^ "LGBTI community in Bloemfontein to mark Free State Pride". MambaOnline. 12 March 2016.
  31. ^ "South Africa: No Arrests in Lesbian Murder Case Homophobic Violence Continues Unchecked in Townships" (PDF). European Parliament. 2 May 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  32. ^ "South Africa's townships still not safe for gay, lesbian and transgender people". Amnesty International. 5 October 2012. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  33. ^ "South Africa killing of lesbian Nogwaza 'a hate crime'". BBC News. 3 May 2011. Archived from the original on 29 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  34. ^ "Africa: End discrimination against LGBTI on international day against homophobia". Amnesty International. 16 May 2012. Archived from the original on 29 November 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  35. ^ Kelly, Annie (12 March 2009). "Raped and killed for being a lesbian: South Africa ignores 'corrective' attacks". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 June 2014.
  36. ^ Ekurhuleni Pride 2016 comes to Vosloorus Mambaonline
  38. ^ "Durban is SA's gayest city – gay group". SAPA. 26 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2 April 2012. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  39. ^ Participate & win with the Pietermaritzburg Pink Mynah Festival Mambaonline
  40. ^ Kay-Lah (8 May 2013). "Limpopo Pride 2013". Queer Magazine. Archived from the original on 29 July 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2014.
  41. ^ Matlala, Montsho (10 May 2013). "Gay and Lesbians pride march in Limpopo". The New Age. Archived from the original on 31 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  42. ^ Govt officials march in Limpopo Pride parade Mambaonline
  43. ^ "1ST MPUMALANGA GAY PRIDE A SUCCESS". MambaOnline. 11 September 2014.
  44. ^ Nkalanga, Phumla (14 August 2014). "First gay pride march in city". Mpumalanga News.
  45. ^ "2ND MPUMALANGA GAY PRIDE ANNOUNCED". MambaOnline. 17 July 2014.
  46. ^ Hamilton, Rob (19 September 2014). "Bravery spurs on Ermelo pride march". Mail and Guardian Online.
  47. ^ GAYS MARCH IN MAFIKENG Mambaonline
  49. ^ When LGBTI Pride came to Kanana for the first time Mambaonline
  50. ^ "Khumbulani Pride". Cape Town Pride. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
  51. ^ "Lesbian killers in South Africa get 18-year jail terms". BBC News. Archived from the original on 30 June 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2013.
  52. ^ Khumbulani Pride remembers victims of LGBTI violence in Langa Mambaonline

External linksEdit