So, after outcry and backlash Cape Town Pride has decided to change their theme/slogan for 2016 Pride: “Brave Enough”… And with this they have missed the point completely. I have previously written about the need to shut Cape Town Pride down, but the theme of “Gay, Proud, Colourblind” was ever only the latest nonsense that has come from a group of white cis gay boys who have managed to turn Cape Town Pride into a racist, apolitical, jol for those who fit within very narrow definitions of queerness. And Besides that, their new slogan doesn’t do much better than the old one…
The question “are you brave enough?” is perhaps on point, but not for the reasons that Cape Town Pride things. How is “Brave enough” relevant for a parade in Green Point, in an area of whiteness? What it asks is whether people of colour are brave enough to venture into an area where we are profiled, are unsafe because of white privilege, white racism, white arrogance… “Brave enough” is problematic because for white cis gay men and white lesbian women there is no bravery needed to party in Green point, there is no bravery needed to be open in an area that eagerly embraces whiteness. The bravery comes in people of colour needing to deal with whiteness that is rampant at Cape Town Pride, in white areas such as Green Point. Where is the bravery from white queer people who seek to just party in their comfort zone? As it is the reality even for queer and trans people of colour to be brave to simply be, to simply exist in a world where both whiteness and cisnormativity rules supreme?
Yet beyond the issue of themes… again, Cape Town Pride has dodged the issue of cisnormativity, of whiteness, at their “festival”… What is your plan of action to address this, apart from having your festival, again, in an area safe for white gays and lesbians? Where is your clear apology even for how offensive you have been for years now? Where is the accountability to anyone but white gays and lesbians? Are you brave enough to take responsibility, finally, and acknowledge your racism?
In the decolonial project that has been pushed throughout 2015, and is moving forward in 2016, queer spaces cannot be left out. As queer and trans people of colour who are committed to a decolonial agenda, we must equally decolonise white queer spaces and call them out for their bullshit.