Virtual Pride Afrique Festival Brings Socially Distant Visibility to Africa’s Sexual Minorities

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08/25/2020

JOHANNESBURG – Pride Afrique is the first of its kind, a three-day virtual extravaganza celebrating Africa’s diverse, colorful community of sexual minorities. But behind the glitz and glam, participants say, is a very serious need to bring gay Africans into the light, as their lives are threatened on the continent every single day. Homosexuality is illegal in more than half of Africa’s 54 countries, with penalties ranging from jail time to execution. Even in countries where same-sex relationships and fluid gender identities are decriminalized, they remain culturally unpopular, and often result in discrimination or even targeted violence. And as if things weren’t challenging enough, the coronavirus pandemic has eliminated the ordinary, daily social encounters that can break down stereotypes and foster understanding. And so, thought a small group of queer African filmmakers, writers, and artists, in these socially distant times, why not bring queer pride to everyone?

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