Gays march for rights

2015-05-21 06:00

LGTBI members and supporters took over the streets of Khayelitsha on Saturday as they march to Buyelembo Village. 
Mandla Mahashe

LGTBI members and supporters took over the streets of Khayelitsha on Saturday as they march to Buyelembo Village. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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We are different and we are here to stay, deal with it!

That was the attitude from the members of the Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community and supporters when they marched the streets of Khayelitsha.

The march last Saturday, was part of the Khumbulani Pride, which is an annual event hosted by the LGBTI community to remember those who have died due to homophobic violence.

A special tribute was paid to victims of the deadly xenophobic violence that gripped parts of the country earlier this year.

“We are compelled to commemorate the lives of the people that were lost as a result of hate in our communities. This is the third edition of the Khumbulani Pride Festival, the first having been held in Nyanga in 2013, the second in 2014 in Samora,” said organiser Ntombi Mbuce.

The theme for the day’s event was ‘Uniting against Homophobia, Transphobia and Xenophobia”

Mbuce said it was important that the community realised there were people who are different and they deserve to be respected and accepted.

She said that even though things were getting better for LGBTs in the townships, there still remains some challenges.

“We still get provoked and verbally abused and sometimes physical abuse still takes place in our townships and we have to fight really hard to change the mindset.

Until the provocations stop all together we will continue to hold such events,” she said.

Siya Mcuta, a lesbian from Site C Khayelitsha, who works for LGTBI rights group Free Gender, says that there is still a huge problem of discrimination in the community.

‘Despite South Africa recognizing LGBTI people and being against discrimination of LGBTI people, some people within communities have not reached that understanding and respect for people whatever their sexual identity. This disrespect for LGBTI identification is especially adopted by aggressive heterosexual men who believe that heterosexual people are ‘normal’ and anyone else is ‘abnormal’ or ‘not normal’ and should be removed from society,’ she said.

“The good things are that the relationship we have with local police has been improving every year. They have really come on board and we are glad that the workshops that we have conducted since 2010 have worked,” she said.

He said that there was still a lot of room for improvement for the men in blue.

“At times we have to push them to see results on cases of attacks to members but all in all things are getting better,” she said.

Reverend Beulah Durrheim from the Good Hope Metropolitan Community Church said that the community needed to change their perspective on the LGTBIs.

“Christianity is about acceptance and that is what we practice at our church.

We really shouldn’t be using the bible to discriminate against other people,” she told City Vision

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