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02 Feb 2006

Good point but wrong question
I just read post 660 (about Cape Town Pride) and found Gino's point interesting. He asks why Cape Town seems to be so far ahead of other SA cities in terms of their Pride event and in terms of the services they offer for gays and lesbians. Good point, but I think the question should rather be, what is wrong with the gay community in other cities, like Johannesburg and Pretoria, that they lag so far behind? Johanessburg is our biggest city and obviously has the largest gay population but all we have here are clubs and bars and one or two shaky organisations, and our Pride event consists of (basically) a drag parade! What do we lack in Johannesburg to get ourselves organised?
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Gay, lesbian and bisexual expert
gay, lesbian and bisexual expert

01 Jan 0001

Hi Perplexed, welcome and thanks for posting.

Cape Town does have very impressive LGBT services. This is largely due to Triangle Project being such an extensive, diverse and established organisation - 2006 is their 25th anniversary. This gives Cape Town an advantage in terms of both experience and expertise in dealing with gay-related issues.

However, there are several organisations that play a very significant role in gay services throughout the country. Together, they've formed the Joint Working Group and meet regularly to undertake joint work, pool resources and learn from each other.

Our forum has previously referred people to most of these organisations.

Behind the Mask is a communication initiative around LGBT rights and issues in Africa and is based in Johannesburg (visit www.mask.org.za). The Durban Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre was established in 2000, as a drop-in centre that offers support to LGBT people and to undertake HIV prevention (visit them at www.gaycentre.org.za).

FEW (Forum for the Empowerment of Women) is a fledgling, small organisation that works only with black lesbians in Johannesburg - you can contact their "CEO", Donna Smith, at donna@mask.org.za. The Gay and Lesbian Archives (GALA) is based in Johannesburg and plays a very significant role in documenting our cultural history and offering access to a rich collection of information on LGBT life in South Africa (visit them at www.gala.wits.ac.za).

OUT is a Pretoria-based LGBT organisation founded eleven years ago. Their services are similar to those of Triangle Project but on a smaller scale (visit them at www.out.org.za). The UNISA Centre for Applied Psychology is an active member of the Joint Working Group and is particularly skilled at supporting research initiatives. In addition, may university campuses have gay and lesbian student groups and many smaller towns have networks of LGBT people that are becoming increasingly organised. Most large cities also have LGBT-friendly church groups.
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