Amid harsh anti-gay laws in Africa, the queer community in South Africa celebrated its 30th anniversary of the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Saturday.
The longest running pride event in Africa, also saw the launch of a new flag inspired by the flags of all the 54 African nations. This year, the celebration was themed ‘‘Pride of Africa’‘.
“I’m here because look I’m….I’m gay. But also look I thought it would be a cool vibe seeing people around that are sort of just like me and I think it’s important because people need to believe or feel comfortable in their skin and feel like they can be themselves”, Buhle Nkosi, an LGTBQI member said.
It's a place where you can be safe and be proud of who you are and that's why I came.
This gay man is a long time Johannesburg pride attendee.
“It’s a celebration of diversity and celebrating your humanity and your individuality”, he said.
For Adriano Carlos, ‘‘it’s a place where you can be safe and be proud of who you are and that’s why I came. This is my first year!”
The pride comes just two days after 16 LGBTQI activists where charged in Uganda for gay sex. Gay sex is punishable by life imprisonment in the East African nation.
Africa has some of the world’s most inhumane laws on homosexuality.
A 2019 report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association found 32 African nations of the 54 nations criminalize same-sex relations.
South Africa is by far the only African nation to legalise gay marriage.