There is so much importance behind Pride. Especially on a continent like Africa where imported conservative Western values have pushed LGBT persons, formerly recognized and integrated into their communities into hiding their identities and pretending to be straight as a survival strategy. The Pride marches are held in memory of the very first marches that began the contemporary fight for LGBT rights in the United states as championed by activists like Marsha P. Johnson.
But Pride has evolved beyond its origins as a form of protest to become a celebration of LGBT life and presence and an affirmation of the wins that the LGBT communities across the world have won for themselves. This is why it is important that LGBT communities in Africa embrace the concept of Pride and show their countrymen that indeed, queer people exist among them and not everyone is content being hidden away and living only a semblance of a normal integrated life.
The LGBT non-profit organization All Out is partnering with Swaziland based NGO Rock of Hope to organize the country’s first annual Pride celebrations. Swaziland’s proximity with South Africa means the country’s youth have been embraced by the liberal advancements within the country. However Swazi itself is still quite homophobic, and homosexuality is illegal under tribal laws and the edicts of the monarchy. A Pride however will be the first major event where the country’s LGBT community can openly (in whatever capacity possible) celebrate their lives, triumph and visibility. However both organizations will need your help to make this a reality. Booking a safe venue and security for the Pride are of the utmost importance, but other needs like catering and equipment and outreach programs to convince LGBT youth to attend will also be needed.
Use this link to All Out‘s website to find out more.