The event was a host of colourful flags, bright orange whistles and Witsies dressed in extravagant outfits for the event . The event started with a few words from the Deputy vice chancellor of finance and operations Tawana Kupe, who said he was impressed with this year’s turn out and chanted to the crowd “No fear, No hate, All love, Proud to be you” and the crowd replied with a loud “Proud to be me”
The parade was themed Being Me, which was a week of events dedicated to merge the diverse personalities, sexual orientations and gender identities at Wits. Events include a new t-shirt design competition, a drawing marathon; and a queer history tour.
Wits Pride programme manager Ella Kotze said this year’s theme aimed to make Wits a safe space for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, race, age, nationality, ability or class.
Kotze said Wits Pride will join hands with students and those supportive of LGBTIA issues to show their pride and also remember the struggle the LGBTIA community has faced in obtaining their rights.[pullquote]We need to reclaim the space for everyone, we know there is homophobia on campus, and it’s one of the silences on this campus[/pullquote]
Kupe said “We need to reclaim the space for everyone, we know there is homophobia on campus, and it’s one of the silences on this campus.”
SRC secretary Tasneem Essop highlighted the lack of support the SRC has given to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and asexual (LGBTIA) on campus.
“We are behind pride, as an SRC we have not done much for pride”, she acknowledged that pride has come a long way and as the SRC they want to take the fight against inequality all over campus.
The march started 1 pm at the Library Lawns and proceeded past the Great Hall, down Yale Road across West Campus and back to the Library Lawns again.