Story by: Motsieng Mooketsi
Jouberton: South Africa is one of the several countries in the world that has legalized same sex marriages for lesbians and gay couples, at the same time the country faces a lot of homophobic discrimination against “The Lesbians Gay Bisexual Transgender and Intersex community” (LGBTI).
This crisis is so bad that these members of society face attacks everyday of their from communities they reside in and sometimes even facing assault and murder. This has inspired the LGBTI community in Matlosana to organize an annual march under the theme “Not Yet Uhuru” which means “Not yet free”
The march was organized in association with Macef “Matlosana Arts and Cultural Festival under the management of Dr Khunou at Brazil Stadium, Macef embarked on a campaign to create an awareness called The Macef VTSD Moral Regeneration Fun Walk.
The organisers of the march Millicent Sebotsa and Mpho Thobedi urged members of the community to accept them as they are. Thobedi said! “We are here to teach people that we are here. visibility!, because there’s a lot of gay people who are still in the closet even now and they don’t want to come out, and since well there are those people who have hatred against gay people we are telling them that we are here and not going anywhere, they have to deal with it because we already dealt with it“. His companion Millicent also added a few words by saying “We proud, we out although we live in a community that is very discriminative therefore we are pleading with our community to stop hate crimes, to stop discriminating against our sexuality” The march kicked off on September 2nd at Tower Mall on Jabulani Road and headed to Brazil Stadium.
Keletso Legoete who is originally from Mahikeng but currently resides in Potchefstroom, stressed the fact most say they chose to be gays and lesbians, “I mean who would choose to be gay, who would choose to be part of a community that hates them, people can choose to be a doctor or a teacher anything else I can not choose to be something that people spit on, like when i pass, i’m a disgust to the community, that does not mean i don’t exist, that does not mean I can not be with the people i choose to live with a celebrate our lives and our lifestyle” No one can influence sexuality said! Legoete
The march saw the LGBTI community singing revolutionary songs in solidarity to some of their brothers and sisters who have been assaulted and murdered for being who they are around the country. The spectacle they caused across the streets had everyone interested in what was really happening.
The march joined the music festivities at Brazil Stadium to close off this year’s LGBTI annual march, they were welcomed with excitement when they entered the stadium.
After the march the LGBTI community took the party to place at Thys Joint where the glitter and the lifestyle this part of the community was on display.