Members of the LGBTQ+ community urged to rise and claim their humanity
With a commitment to uniting and liberating LGBTQ+ people and creating an inclusive platform, this year’s Gaborone Pride Celebrations Gaborone this past weekend was a resounding success.
The event, which took place at the Three Dikgosi Monument in Gaborone last weekend, was a festival that encompassed a march, live music and night-time events in an attempt to ensure there was something for every patron’s idea of pride.
Known and seen
“We are celebrating and raising awareness,” said Olivia Maswikiti, Founder and Chairperson of Gaborone Pride, in an interview. “The event is about unity, diversity, inclusivity and making sure that LGBTQ+ people are known and are seen.
“We want to ensure that going forward policymaker know where we are because we are tired of being told we can’t change policies for one person. So we are making a statement to say we are here and you can see us.
“We have had three pride events beginning in 2019. COVID-19 hit and we were forced to go virtual. This is our second meet up event. We have come a long way, looking at the number of sponsors and NGOs that came and people who actually want to be a part of pride.”
The CEO of LEGABIBO, Thato Moruti said the celebration was important following the momentous decriminalisation of homosexuality in November 2021.
LEGABIBO consequently found it fit to ensure that in addition to celebrating diversity and inclusion in the form of the South African International Pride Day, they also bring local communities together to realise and remember where they came from as a community and where they are going.
“Pride is a time to reflect, remember, march forward and say we are going somewhere,” he said. “It’s not just about celebration of freedom but also marking the numbers of the LGBTQ+ communities to say they are here, they are human and are a part of the larger communities beyond the rainbow.”
Moruti said they are now pushing beyond the decriminalisation to impact communities a bit more by reaching out to those who are not able to come out and claim their humanity. They are holding the space for the community in general and moving towards strengthening social economic empowerment for members of the LGBTIQ+ communities.
Same sex marriages
Moruti emphasised that members of LGBTIQ+ communities are not any different from other members of the community as they also experience Gender-Based Violence, hence LEGABIBO is standing in the gap to ensure that GBV is eliminated.
“The future is bright for LGBTQ+ communities as we anticipate same sex marriages and better adoption laws because we are human beings and nothing human can be alien to us,” he said. “In the next five years, we should be seeing an even greater turnup of the LGBTQ+ community and members of society. The event is a pride beyond the rainbow.”