Johannesburg Pride Marchers Tell Us Why They're Proud and What They Want Changed

Authors:
Olivia Kestin and Noxolo Gigaba

Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen


Why Global Citizens Should Care
The UN's Global Goal 10 calls for reduced inequalities, regardless of sexuality, gender, race, ethnicity, age, disability, or any other status. Around the world, dozens of countries still have discriminatory laws against LGBTQ+ communities, while many people still face the threat of violence because of their sexuality or gender. Join the movement by taking action here to raise your voice in support of a world that's equal and fair for everyone. 

Thousands gathered on Saturday to march through the streets of Johannesburg in celebrating Pride of Africa.

Johannesburg Pride is the continent’s longest-running Pride event, and it celebrated 30 years of public support as marchers gathered to paint Sandton with rainbow colours.

This year's theme was "Pride is Proudly African, and Authentically you”. The public celebration was aimed at fighting for better inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community across the continent. 

This year also debuted a new flag from Johannesburg Pride, representing all 54 countries on the African continent.

Global Citizen Africa went along to the march, to meet Pride marchers and to hear about the importance of being out celebrating and honouring Pride; and to ask them what changes they want to see from world leaders and members of the public in order to better support the LGBTQ+ community.

Here are some of our favorite portraits and quotes from the day.


Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_025.jpgPictured here, left, 28-year old Thato Motheilane from Protea Glen, outside of Johannesburg, and 24-year-old Bono Tshivhidzo from Limpopo, both who identify as gay.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

"I would like to see world leaders and members of the public working together with the LGBTQ+ organisations, to show the world that it's important to work together and be confident in who you are." - Thato. 

" It is important for me to be out and celebrating Pride because I know the sacrifices our queer people made for this day, they sacrificed for us to have rights and equal opportunities around the world. It is important to be here to celebrate the unity and the new era which I'm happy to be part of." - Bono. 

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_011.jpgAn attendee takes part in the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. This year the parade celebrated its 30th anniversary.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_028-FULL.jpgPictured here, right, 27-year old Bernice Coetzee and 29-year old Nicoline Norton, from Johannesburg South, both who identify as lesbian.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

"Equality, same sex marriage, and having the same equal rights as everyone — that's what we need!" - Bernice. 

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_033-FULL.jpgPictured here, 27-year old Puleng Sekekete, from Soweto, who identifies as heterosextual.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

"It is important to celebrate Pride because no one deserves to be treated unfairly due to their sexual orientation. Also, Pride is one event full of love, life, all round joy." - Puleng.

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_010.jpgAn attendee blows the camera a kiss as they take part in the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_032-FULL.jpgPictured here, 17-year old Boikie Ledwaba, from Johannesburg, who identifies as non-binary.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

"I want to see the normalisation of the culture. I want to see people, especially teenagers, being able to be educated on the issues that LGBTQ+ people face and their struggles." - Boikie. 

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_014-FULL.jpgTwo marchers embrace as they pose for a portraits during in the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_015-FULL.jpgA close up view of the rainbow hairstyle of a participant at the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_030-FULL.jpgPictured here, 29-year old Soala Amabeoku, from Johannesburg.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

"It's important to celebrate Pride because it allows us to celebrate as a community, and brings to life a lot of the issues we go through. Most importantly we don’t always get to integrate with people from other cultures within our own community, so this is the perfect opportunity to integrate." - Soala.

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_029.jpgPictured here, 23-year old Zahir Elias, from the Ferndale suburb of Johannesburg, who identifies as gay.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

"Less social justice warriors and more people who actually do something. People are so much on their social platforms, if you actually want to fight for something go out and do something. Go march, go do something about it, instead of just saying 'I want this and that'. You want something, go work for it as it will not be handed to you for free." - Zahir. 

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_016-FULL.jpgA reveler participates in the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_027-FULL.jpgPictured here, 32-year old Victoria Jackson, from Cape Town, who identifies as shemale.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

"I want the global leaders to accept the LGBTQ+ culture, our beliefs, especially in the gay society, that we can all unite and be as one." - Victoria.

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_020-FULL.jpgAn attendee smiles as they take part in the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_021-FULL.jpgTwo participants embrace as they take part in the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_009.jpgMarchers take part in the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_036.jpgTwo attendees pose for a picture together at the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_013-FULL.jpgA young attendee poses at the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_004-FULL.jpgTwo attendees pose for a picture together at the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_034-FULL.jpgPictured here, 42-year old Chris Emmanuel, from Knysna, who identifies as gay.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

"I want to see the freedom that we enjoy in the privileged suburbs be translated into the townships and rural communities. I am standing here walking and free with everything fine, which is not the same if you go to townships or anywhere where they do not have an open-minded perspective. So I want freedom to be genuinely freedom for anyone, not just for me and rich communities." - Chris. 

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_023-FULL.jpgA marcher takes part in the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_012.jpgTwo participants kiss as they take part in the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_022-FULL.jpgMarchers take part in the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_031-FULL.jpgPictured here, 24-year old Brooke Kills, from the Benoni- Rynfield neighborhoods, who is a drag queen.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen

"I think trans people in our communities are the most marginalised part of the community. I want to see more awareness, especially in South Africa, because there are a lot of people being killed, especially in townships and rural areas where there isn't a lot of understanding on what is is to be transsexual." 

Johannesburg_Pride_LGBTQ_Noncedo Gxekwa_035.jpgA group of participants pose together during the Johannesburg Pride Parade on Oct. 26, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Image: Noncedo Gxekwa for Global Citizen