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February 19, 2009

Gay Pride Festival paints Cape Town pink

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Gay Pride Parade 2008, photo courtesy Brian Indrelunas

It’s the pink season in the Mother City, so get your glitter on and party in the name of Gay Pride. This year’s Gay Pride Festival runs until March 1.

The theme is “Pink Ubuntu” – a gay celebration and appreciation of the diverse community – so it only follows that the lineup of events caters to everyone’s tastes and should get Cape Town’s various gay communities partying together.

The festival got off to a storming start with the annual Cape Town Pride Pageant at the Woodstock Hall on February 14. South Africa’s top drag queens strutted their stuff, hoping to win the crown and the title of Ms Cape Town, while the boys battled it out for the prestigious title of Mr Cape Town.

If you missed the pageant there are plenty more pink parties coming up to keep you entertained over the next two weeks. So if you are looking for something a little more laid back or for a wild time, there is definitely something in the Pink Ubuntu calendar that will tickle your fancy.

This year the “Out in Africa” film festival has decided to hold a mini film festival during the Gay Pride Festival. The festival opens on February 19 with The Marching Season. This documentary charts the embattled course of the first Latvian Gay Pride Festival in Riga. If you fly the Proudly South African banner than perhaps the highlight for you will be the film I Can’t Think Straight, directed by Shamim Sharif. The film, which screens on February 20, is a light romantic lesbian comedy that deals with religious and cultural conflict issues. To find out what else is on or for more details, check out the Out in Africa website.

If you’d rather be outdoors, the Pride Lion’s Head hike on Sunday February 22 is one way to flex those muscles. Putt putt on February 25 is a more sedate way to enjoy the Cape Town sunshine. For other fresh-air options, take a look at the Gay Pride Festival website.

If you are a little more Priscilla than putt putt, you could check out the Pride Divas show. Tickets cost R85 and the shows starts at 20h30 on February 23. Or if you think you’re ready to take on Elton, give stardom a shot at the Assegai Pride karaoke competition at the Bronx Action Bar, also on Monday February 23.

If Oscar Wilde is your hero then head down to the Book Affair, at the Book Lounge on Sunday February 22, where you can mingle with South Africa’s leading gay authors. High-profile gay writers including Stephen Simm (Miss Kwa Kwa), Melanie Judge (To Have and to Hold: The Making of Same-Sex Marriage in South Africa), Derrick Fine (Positively Alive Series), Jane Bennett (Porcupine), and Christina Engela (sci-fi comedy stories) will be speaking. For more info see the Gay Pride Festival website.

Stetsons and chaps are the order of the day at the Wild West Hoe-down Showdown, or for something a little more risqué then the PlayNice fetish and underwear party might be more to your taste. For more information, check out the events line-up. Both parties are taking place on Friday February 27.

The festival line-up also includes a lecture series covering topics such as HIV prevention techniques and how to deal with disabilities in the gay community. There are even two dedicated Gay Pride church services.

For a look at the full Pink Ubuntu events calendar, see the Cape Town Pride Festival website.

 

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