South Africa

LGBTQI Pride brings an explosion of colour to Pretoria

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On October 1, Pretoria’s queer community took to the streets of Centurion for the eighth LGBTQI Pretoria Pride, entitled ‘This is me’.

‘This is me’. Photo: Shaun Sproule
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Pretoria LGBTQI Pride celebrates the diversity of the local community. Photo: Shaun Sproule
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Undetectable=Untransmissible. The annual event is meant to bring the awareness of LGBTQI issues that queer South Africans face to the public square. Photo: Shaun Sproule

 

The event aimed to raise the awareness of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community, with a march and celebration at the Centurion rugby club.

Football Highlights

 

 

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Pretoria LGBTQI Pride march. Photo: Shaun Sproule

 

Bruce Walker, chairperson of Pretoria LGBTQI Pride, was pleased with the turnout. “The event went very well, we had around 6 500 people over the whole day.”

 

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The parade took a loop through the streets of Centurion. Photo: Shaun Sproule

 

He said that the mix of entertainment and variety of stalls, food and bars proved to be a hit with the people who attended this years’ event.

 

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The annual event is meant to bring the awareness of LGBTQI issues that queer South Africans face to the public square. Photo: Shaun Sproule

 

The day was a joyful celebration of the diversity, and featured performances by local drag queens, live entertainment, exhibitions and a market. The celebrations included a parade in the streets of Centurion to raise awareness of the queer community and was led by Mr and Miss Gay Pride Pretoria, Marco Prins and Larissa-Vee Jones.

 

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LGBTQI Pride Pretoria was led by Larissa-Vee Jones (right) and Marco Prins (left), Mr and Miss Gay Pride Pretoria. Photo: Shaun Sproule
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Beefcakes parade float led by drag queen Stella Rosé, who was also the MC for the day’s drag show. Photo: Shaun Sproule

 

“Wow, what a spectacular day! It was an honour to lead such a powerful parade and see how the community came together to celebrate who they are and to just enjoy themselves and spread love and positivity all over Pretoria,” said Larissa-Vee Jones.

 

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Pretoria’s queer community came to show their pride. Photo: Shaun Sproule

After the march, the community was treated to live music, drag shows and DJ sets as the sun set over the event.

 

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Parade float celebrating Pretoria’s ‘Bear’ community. Photo: Shaun Sproule

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Exhibitions included local queer-owned or queer-friendly businesses, and the Aurum Institute Pop Inn, clinics that offer free sexual health services to transgender women and men that have sex with men (MSM) in South Africa. The pop inn offers free STI, HIV and TB screenings as well as PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a medication to prevent the transmission of HIV.

 

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Pretoria LGBTQI Pride parade. Photo: Shaun Sproule

Members of the queer community have celebrated Pride month in South Africa in October since October 13, 1990, when Africa’s first gay pride event and anti-apartheid march took place in Johannesburg. The march was held in order to decriminalise homosexuality and end apartheid.

 

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Around 6 500 people attended this year’s Pretoria LGBTQI Pride. Photo: Shaun Sproule
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Photo: Shaun Sproule
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The theme for the eighth LGBTI Pride Pretoria was ‘This is me’. Photo: Shaun Sproule