A journey to the pot of gold

Leungo Mokgwathi

LGBTIQ community commemorates and celebrates Pride

Saturday, October,07th was a colorful one, as the streets of Gaborone were splattered with a rainbow theme in celebration of the Gaborone Pride March and Festival.

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The fifth annual Gaborone Pride celebrations started with a pride march as dozens of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender and queer (LGBTIQ), and their allies marched in solidarity to commemorate and celebrate LGBTIQ pride.

Considering all the backlash the community has been getting from anti LGBTIQ movements including the body of Christ, this presented the perfect platform for the community to stand together in a safe space-free from oppression and discrimination.

Proudly draped in vibrant rainbow shades, which symbolize the diversity of the LGBTIQ community and the spectrum of human sexuality and gender, participants sang and chanted a message of acceptance and equal rights.

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“We are not forcing anyone to love us, we just want to be given our human rights in full package and we will be content,” read one of the placards, which may have been inspired by the recent church protests against the potential legalization of same-sex relations.

“After years of attending pride events in other countries, I realized the need for such spaces in my home country, where we could converge and be the most comfortable in our own skin without any fear of judgement,” explained Gaborone Pride Founder Olivia Mash Maswikiti who further stated that the event was on its fifth year.

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Maswikiti went on to explain that Pride is a safe space which brings visibility and recognition to the LGBTIQ community, allowing them to celebrate, raise awareness and have progressive dialogues on issues affecting the community.

Underlining issues of discrimination, legislation and policy making, she stressed how much work was needed to arrive at that finishing line, but deemed it possible provided it be done in solidarity and unity.

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After all the talking points were covered, the event progressed to the Pride Festival which attracted even more numbers than the march. It was indeed a spectacle, after reminiscing on the journey of struggle, this was an opportunity to celebrate the milestones and the progress made in achieving that visibility.

With MCs Phlyhoney and Freddie Pro at the frontline, alongside artists Fifi Afrika and some of the country’s most talented DJs, this was a party not to be missed.

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