Annual gay events in Cape Town

The Mother City Queer Project. Photo courtesy up4athing

There are several gay events throughout the year in Cape Town, which draw thousands of people. Some of them are for fun, and others are meant to bring about understanding and tolerance.

If you're new to Pink Cape Town, you may want to familiarise yourself with some of the most iconic events in the Mother City:

Cape Town Pride

The Cape Town Pride Festival, which spans 10 days. While there is lots of fun over the period, it  encompasses more than just celebrating diversity. The festival also creates awareness on issues which affect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, both locally and throughout the African continent.The festival is held around February and March, and the 2014 festival starts on February 21 and ends on March 2. There are a range of activities and festivities, including seminars, drag shows, picnics and pageants. The festival culminates in a float parade through the city centre and ends in Green Point, where a big party is traditionally held. 

Mother City Queer Project

The Mother City Queer Project costume party is one of the highlights of the annual social calendar. More than 10 000 people, both gay and straight, dress according to a theme and party the night away. Normally held in mid-December, the themed party is a grand event, with several dancefloors and entertainment on offer.

The first MCQP party was held in 1994 to celebrate South Africa's new democracy and constitution - which allows freedom of choice and the protection of human rights. Since then the number of people attending the annual gathering has grown substantially. Don't miss this year's event on December 14 at Cape Town Stadium. The theme is Space Cowboys!

The Out in Africa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

The Out in Africa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival has been running since 1994. The main aim of the festival is to address the lack of visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals (LGBTIs) in South African social and cultural life, after decades of apartheid repression. Films from around the world, as well as locally produced ones, are shown. The movies are about exploring identity, lifestyles and concerns in the gay community