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Spend your spring with FEW at Soweto Pride 2009 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mpumi Mathabela   
The time has come again for all the luscious lesbians, gorgeous gays, beautiful bisexuals and terrific trans men and women to come out and bloom. Spring is here, summer is here and hibernating time is over.

Forum for the Empowerment of Women [FEW] invites all men and women, black, white, yellow, green to come and celebrate our identities, our sexualities and our heritage together in style. This year we have extended Soweto Pride to a four day celebration starting on the 24th September 2009 (heritage day) ‘til the 27th September 2009.
For years FEW has worked on advancing and defending the rights of black lesbian women and highlighting the violations faced by women in the townships because of their sexual orientation. When Soweto Pride was initiated in 2004, the idea was to bring about visibility of lesbian women in the townships and to reclaim our voices. Over the years Soweto Pride has grown, with more people showing support at the march.

In 2008 we reworked the purpose of Soweto Pride to celebrate our identities, activism and resilience as black lesbian women in partnership with the LGBTI community and this year the theme continues on the same path of celebrating ourselves as the LGBTI community; “Celebrating our identities, our sexualities and our heritage”.

The programme for this year’s Soweto Pride is as diverse as our community and will cater for the whole LGBTI community and not just the lesbian women only.

On the 24th with the support of Constitution Hill, the programme is both intellectual and social and will include a panel discussion on issues of sexuality, tradition and culture and the panellists range from artists/activists to academics. FEW will also offer space for black lesbian women to exhibit their crafts, photography, artworks, poetry and dance.

The 25th of September sees the first ever screening of a lesbian/gay film in Soweto as we look at issues of representation by using films and telling our own stories. This event is in partnership with the Out In Africa Gay and Lesbian Film Festival and will also be the official launch of Soweto Pride.

One the 26th September the whole lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community with support from our brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers will march the streets of Meadowlands, celebrating our identities and reclaiming the streets of our township.

The final day, 27th of September, we will host a ‘chill and braai’ session in partnership with Best of Both World Productions. The day will also include a soccer match between Chosen FEW Lesbian Women F.C. and Thokozani Ladies F.C. from Umlazi, Kwazulu-Natal.

This event belongs to the people and we call upon all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people to take ownership of this celebration because our success is dependant on all of us working hand in hand.

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