Khayalitsha Hosts Khumbalani Pride And Unites Against Hate By Cheryl Roberts

11 May

The power of acceptance of people, whatever their sexual identity, gender and color origin will be demonstrated on Saturday in Khayalitsha, when the third annual Khumbalani Pride takes place with a day long programme of activities.

Civil society organisation, Freegender Khayelitsha is one of many LGBTI and human rights structures spearheading the community Pride festival. Khayalitsha is home to a community of heterosexual people and also gender non-conforming, lesbians, gay and trans people and foreign nationals.

khumbalani pride in ctThis is the third edition of the community Pride festival; the first having been held in Nyanga in 2013, the second in 2014 in Samora and the third to be held on Saturday in Khayalitsha under the banner ‘Uniting Against Homophobia, Transphobia And Xenophobia’. Khumbalani Pride.

This year’s theme and action programme is all about awareness against the negatives in society, people’s minds and communities. Participants in Khumbalani Pride and everyone associating with the festivities, especially along the street march which starts at 10am at Oliver Tambo hall, will participate against hate and discrimination, knowing that a person’s sexuality and identity are to be respected, that negatives such as homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia are problematic and divide communities, rather than unite them.

Over three years ago, Khayalitsha experienced heightened awareness and angry protests against hate attacks, happening against women identifying as lesbians and who choose same gender love and relationships. This was when the long awaited trial of the killers of teenage girl footballer, Zoliswa Nkonyane finally got underway. Khayalitsha’s civil society groupings and people rallied together in support of ‘No Hate’ against lesbians and gender non-conforming people.

‘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 heteronormative people are ‘normal’ and anyone else is ‘abnormal’ or ‘not normal’ and should be removed from society,’ explains Siya Mcuta, media liason  for Khumbalani Pride.

‘We have realised that with increased community initiatives around the negatives of homophobia, transphobia ad xenophobia, a community becomes more aware about the dangers existing within a community, when these phobias are allowed free rides and reign through people’s minds.’

Khumbalani Pride was initiated three years ago to celebrate and give respect to gender non-forming and LGBTI people living in townships and working class communities. Hate attacks on black lesbian women were rampant and women were living in fear. Instead of living behind closed doors in reclusive lives, community response was to confront the negatives which launched these attacks and assaults on black lesbian women.

‘The community of Khayalistha has had too many black lesbians being attacked, assaulted and killed. Eliminating these attacks against the women is urgent and a priority. Through community programmes such as Khumbalani Pride, residents of the community will be informed that homophobia, transphobia and xenophobia must be booted out, so the community can live in peace and not be antagonistic because some people falsely believe their gender, country origin or sexual identity is superior,’ explains Ms Mcuta.

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