Hundreds march through city centre to kick off Durban Pride
Organisers call for better support and protection for victims of hate crimes, especially in townships
Rainbow coloured flags filled the streets of the Durban city centre on Saturday as hundreds of members of the queer community celebrated Pride month. It was the first time the event was held in two years.
The group marched from Durban City Hall to the Gugu Dlamini park behind The Workshop shopping centre. A prayer ceremony was held in memory of dozens of queer people who were killed in hate crimes or victims of gender based violence in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) during 2020 and 2021.
Participants also demanded that the government intervene in hate crimes against queer people.
Nonhlanhla Mkhize, of Durban’s Lesbian and Gay Community Health Centre, said better support and protection was needed for victims of hate crimes, especially in townships.
The march organisers said that many people could not access critical and much-needed treatment or support during the height of the pandemic. “Some were without homes, kicked out of home or locked in with perpetrators [during lockdown]. Many were violated and murdered for being LGBTI or perceived to be LGBTI. Then came civil unrest and the recent floods which have left more people homeless, jobless and fighting for resources,” the organisers said.
The organisers said that this year’s focus will be on “demanding better access to services, safety and security, safe housing, job creation and employment for LGBTI people”.
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