The annual Wits Pride Week kicks off at Wits University on Monday 1 October.
For the past 18 years South Africa has been making great strides to erase the legacy of apartheid… but what about sexual apartheid?
People from all sexual orientations experience this every day, but not many verbalise their stories.
“Stop Sexual Apartheid”
This is about to change, as the University of the Witwatersrand revs up once again to hosts Wits Pride 2012, the week-long dedication to merge the diverse personalities, sexualities and sexual preferences at Wits.
This year’s offering will also be a testimony to the transformation over the years at Wits as the University celebrates Wits90, the year-long celebration of Wits’ 90th birthday.
The 2012 Wits Pride Week kicks off on Monday, 01 October 2012, portraying the theme “Stop Sexual Apartheid” in various vibrant and creative ways. The main aim is to educate about the injustices of past discrimination, and what we now discriminate against, emulating such oppression.
Hosted by the Wits Transformation Office, Activate, the Gay and Lesbian Archive (GALA), Wits Student Affairs and Wits International Office, Pride Week 2012 hopes to involve all people whether they identify as lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, trans, intersexual and asexual (LGBTIA) or not.
In a program bigger and better than any of its predecessors, the Wits Pride anti-homophobia campaign Week will join hands between students and those supportive of LGBTIA issues to show their pride and also to remember the struggle the LGBTIA community has faced in obtaining their rights.
A jam-packed programme which will exhilarate your senses, give you an opportunity to live out your fantasies and make your voice heard against sexual apartheid, will take place until Friday, 5 October 2012, and promises a wealth of sun, fun, education and celebration.
“Internal homophobia, biphobia and transphobia”
“This year’s Pride campaign sees a larger engagement with both the student and staff populace and this is a clear indication that Wits Pride is for all people at the University. The theme of this year’s Pride speaks to the need to address the phenomenon of internal homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.
These issues do not often come to light, and this is a golden opportunity to address them whilst educating around them,” says Anzio Jacobs, Project Manager for Wits Pride 2012.
“Most outrageous and daring outfits”
The colourful celebrations kick off on Monday, 1 October 2012 with the traditional Wits Pride march where everyone is encouraged to come in their most outrageous and daring outfits possible and join in.
This is coupled with the wrapping of the iconic giant bluegum tree on the Gavin Relly green on West Campus in the colours of the LGBTIA flag.
The rest of the week will see the unveiling of art installations on different campuses, teamed with exhibitions, film screenings and lectures and the opening night of the third edition of the thought-provoking and controversial theatre performance FMQ.
The pièce de résistance will be the Pride-Wits90 celebrations for all staff members on the Library Lawns, where the celebrations will come to its pinnacle after a week of making merry while having fun and an educational experience.