It has been 52 years since two brave transgender womxn, one of African descent and another of Latin American descent, set forth a movement that would to this day be celebrated worldwide as Pride. The Stonewall riots of 1969 set the tone for what would be a lasting movement, a scream, a stance against repression, human rights violations, injustices, and discrimination of LGBTI persons worldwide.
As we mark Pride month, it is prudent that we look not only at what has turned into a celebration for the queer community, but also what the power of the Queer womxn can achieve in a movement so dominated by patriarchy and racial politics.
The current socio-cultural climate has exposed how patriarchy and race politics has impeded progress and dealt a blow to the advancement of social justice. We are therefore faced with the task of looking at history and learning from the womxn who have come before us; womxn of all creeds; womxn who have lost their loved ones, blood, and their own livelihoods for the betterment of others.
This Pride month, we take a moment despite the noise, the pandemic, the politics and the losses, to thank the womxn who continue to contribute through participatory activism and their staunch and steadfast leadership and yet suffer the most.
We at the SAHRDN recognise the strides made and pay special recognition to the victories in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Angola, Mozambique and many other spaces in the sub-region where small and big wins have come at the hands of a well-coordinated movement, often led by womxn.
We pledge our support and solidarity to the movement as we all continue the struggle for the full recognition of these basic human rights, as we witness the shrinking civic space for LGBTI organisations. We also extend our voice to the LGBTI movement in Eswatini which to this day is calling for the recognition of freedom of association #RegisterESGM and that of South Africa where multiple reports of killings of queer Africans.
#Happy Pride Month