UP community celebrates Pride Week

Posted on October 21, 2019

The University of Pretoria community observed Pride Week with a weeklong calendar of activities from 14 to 18 October. UP Pride Week is an annual event which aims to raise awareness about the issues faced by LGBTIAQ+* people at the University as well as to increase the visibility of LGBTIAQ+ members of the UP community. 

The week's events were organised by, among others, the Centre for Sexualities, Aids and Gender (CSA&G), Just Leaders and UP&OUT societies. 

Clara Van Niekerk, chairperson of UP&OUT, said Pride Week helps people of all backgrounds feel free to speak their minds. "We always try to create a space for people to come speak their minds, or even to just find a sense of community,” she says. “This week we spoke about the LGBT community and geographical spaces, which was a new and exciting topic. And we also held an interactive discussion where queer people could share their voices on various issues facing our community, internally and externally and it was just a really good exchange of ideas.”

The week kicked off with an LGBTIAQ+ mural painting, followed by an information session, a reflection spectrum activity on Wednesday, a Pride March on Thursday, and culminated in a year-end braai on Friday. Members of the UP community across age groups, races and sexual orientation came out in support of the week and its events. They created for themselves a space of acceptance and tolerance, as well as an environment where they could educate, unlearn and foster robust discussion among each other. 

Here are some pictures from the week:

Students after painting an LGBTIAQ+ mural.

Students take part in a march during UP Pride Week.

The march was part of awareness activities planned for UP Pride week from 14 to 18 October.

Getting to work on the elements of an LGBTIAQ+ mural painting.

 Students lend a hand on the mural painting.

Marchers gather to listen to a speech.

Students march through campus as part of efforts to increase the visibility of LGBTIAQ+ members of the UP community.

* LGBTQIA+ = Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex, Asexual/Allied + many other terms such as non-binary and pansexual.

- Author Masego Panyane

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