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February 13, 2013

Cape Town Pride takes over the City

A participant at a Cape Town Pride marches through the city's streets. Photo courtesy of Max Barñers

Cape Town Pride is an important event on Cape Town's calendar. Even though the city is one of the most liberal in the country, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people still face discrimination.

To deal with the challenges faced by the community, and raise funds for those needing shelter and help, Cape Town Pride was created in 2001 and is run by volunteers. A number of events, from February 16 to March 3, will be taking place. The theme for this year is Stand Up and Be Counted.

The event has consistently grown over the past 12 years, and this year it is anticipated that up to 10 000 people will take part in events like beach parties, a comedy show, a street fair and a rugby match.

Not all of the events are fun and games, however; there is also a serious element, which tackles discrimination head-on. 

The 10-day event will kick off with the annual Ms Cape Town Pride pageant at the Joseph Stone Auditorium, and will end with a celebration service at the Central Methodist Church on Greenmarket Square.

One of the fundraisers will be the "red party" on February 21, where bars will donate their door takings to the organisation. Most of the gay bars and restaurants in De Waterkant and Green Point will be taking part. 

There is a host of other events, including a free Pride and Protest seminar at the Gugu Stebe Art and Cultural Centre in Washington Avenue, Langa on February 21, from 18h00 to 20h00.

The Cape Town Pride parade, a colourful convoy of floats, and people dressed in outfits reminiscent of the Rio Carnival, takes to the streets of the city centre on March 2. The parade starts at 10h30 at De Waterkant Village.

Even though it is aimed at the gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender and intersex community, Cape Town Pride also attracts many straight people who support the cause.


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