Khumbulani Pride Decolonises Cape Town’s White Privilege Pride By Cheryl Roberts

18 May

Black queer people are not allowing white privilege nor white dominant queer structures the luxury of owning the pride narrative in Cape Town. Neither are conscious black queers allowing themselves to be controlled by white privilege supporting pride advocates.

The space has been created for a Khumbulani Pride, a black queer centered voice, for the people by the people, to be rooted in black communities and to speak for and behalf of black queers. And each year, Khumbulani Pride grows in strength, confidence and authenticity.

On Saturday in Cape Town, in a working class township on the Cape Flats and not in a white, rich and privileged area, the annual Khumbulani Pride will again happen. Khumbulani Pride was born out of the necessity for black queers to speak for themselves, to lead black queer activism and to shout and roar against hate crime and sexual prejudice particularly against black queer women.

Black queer people in Cape Town….make that conscious black queer people……had for long been feeling isolated, marginalisied and used by the predominantly white, gay male dominated Cape Town Pride who concentrated more on using Cape Town Pride for the interests and satisfaction of white gay men like pool and pyjama parties and club jorls with little focus on black queers whose experience of being queer in white privileged, homophobic and racist Cape Town is vastly different from the experience of white queers.

Khumbulani Pride is real and authentic; rooted in the streets where the violence and hate against black queers, mostly black queer and gender non-conforming women occurs. It’s a march through the streets, the very township streets that can be filled with happiness, laughter, people activity and at times host horrific hate against queers and gender non-conforming people. Its here on the streets in the townships where black queers reside, that much assault, rape and killings of black queer women have happened.

After a litany of assaults and horrendous murders, black queers don’t feel safe in their own communities and walking on the streets. Black queers want the streets to be safe for all people and not to be defined by toxic hetero-masculinity.

Cape Town Pride didn’t address this depth of hate and homophobia prevalent in Cape Town. After must call outs and challenges from conscious queers, down-with-white-privilege proponents and human rights activists Cape Town Pride officialdom has refused to assess its existence, preferring instead to show their DA loyalty and white gay male centeredness. Instead, by making Cape Town Pride one big festival of partying, Cape Town Pride made as if attacks on bodies of black queers wasn’t there.

Conscious and critical thinking Black queers had enough of this seemingly ‘anti-conscious, anti-political’ behaviour adopted by white, gay men dominated Cape Town Pride. They formed their own pride acknowledgment and turned it into a relevant and necessary event, to be held in the hood and for the hood people.

Khumbulani Pride will take place in Delft in Cape Town on Saturday, a working class area that has had its homophobic assaults, abuses and killings. A march through the streets with protesting people and banners, culminating in a memorandum being delivered, will call out homophobia and ask for attacks on black queers and non gender-conforming people, to be stopped and for swift police action to be done when and should such attacks occur.

Khumbulani Pride is not sponsored by the DA administered city of Cape Town that financially supports white privilege, white gay men dominated Cape Town Pride. The community pride event gets by with nominal donations here and there and people who want to be associated with an event that is black-queer led and talks in the interests of black queers, instead of marginalising black queer people.

Cape Town Pride’s got nothing on Khumbulani pride when it comes to speaking out and challenging homophobia and sexual prejudice. That Khumbulani Pride was the space and event so needed for black queers to have their own authentic Pride voice, there is no doubt. That cape Town Pride is irrelevant to black queers, there is no doubt.

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