Lesotho gets its first gay pride march

1 Jun

posted on Erasing 76 Crimes, May 31, 2013 by 

Gay pride march in Lesotho

The first Pride Parade in the south African country of Lesotho is described in an article by Leila Hall for the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA. The article begins:

A small group of young Basotho are singing and chanting as they make their way down Kingsway – the main street that runs through the centre of Maseru, Lesotho’s capital city. At first glance, this is not an unusual sight. They sing familiar, well-known songs – the kind that you would hear at any soccer match – supe, supe pe pe, zabalabalaba. They break and move and stop and dance, then keep moving forward with an easy, effortless rhythm.

But as the procession draws nearer, it quickly becomes clear to passers-by that there is something different about this group. Something about the colour and the movement of the procession catches the onlookers’ eyes. Yellow balloons. Pink sunglasses. A pair of red devil horns. Bursts of brightly coloured clothing. In the midst of the singing, stomping and clapping, two people carry between them a large, rainbow flag.

The banner at the front of the procession proclaims loudly and clearly what this is all about – ‘International Anti-Homophobia and Transphobia Day’. It is Saturday the 18th of May 2013 and today, this small, colourful group is making history – this is Lesotho’s first-ever gay pride march.

The event has been organised by MATRIX Support Group – a Lesotho-based NGO working to advocate for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) individuals in the country. The organisation, which only received legal recognition in 2010, is – like this year’s parade – the first of its kind in Lesotho.

For more information, read the full article: “Small march is a big step for LGBTI in Lesotho.”

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