Cape Town has been hosting Gay Pride events every year since 2004. Spanning ten days in late February/early March, Gay Pride Cape Town celebrates cultural diversity and creates awareness for LGBTQ issues in South Africa and beyond. While Cape Town Pride has only been an annual thing since 2004, the very first event took place as far back as 1993. Since then, Cape Town Pride has aimed to address issues pertinent to the local LGBTQ community, promote visibility, and celebrate how far LGBTQ rights in South Africa have come.
Along with the usual Pride Parade, Gay Pride Cape Town hosts a series of different events, ranging from drag shows, poetry readings, queer cinema, and the popular Mr and Miss Cape Town Pride Pageant. The event is entirely run by volunteers, and is welcome to people of all races, faiths, sexualities, and genders. It is a celebration of diversity, and is a shared experience that illuminates Cape Town each year, from Sugarloaf Mountain to De Waterkant and beyond. Whether you like the idea of dancing down the streets in rainbow for the Cape Town Pride Parade, or you'd rather get your pride fix at a Pool Party, there is something for everyone at Cape Town Gay Pride.
Cape Town and South Africa in general have come a long way as far as LGBTQ rights are concerned. Homosexuality was decriminalized in South Africa in 1997, while same-sex marriage was legalized in 2006. In fact, the constitution in South Africa, following Apartheid, was the first in the world to rule out descrimination based on sexual orientation. South Africa was also the fifth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage. With this political landscape, it comes as no surprise that Cape Town Pride is larger than life, with everyone convening upon the Mother City each February to experience their pride. Will we be seeing you there?
In 2021, Cape Town Pride Parade will be virtual, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The following is the event program of a previous pride edition.
The Cape Town Pride 2020 dates are February 14 to March 1, and the theme is 'True to You - Be Who You Are'. This focuses on the necessity to embrace all of your individuality, despite your orientation, age, race, or faith. It aims to unite everyone over their differences, and help bridge any divisions that can sometimes exist in society. In the lead up to the incredible Cape Town Pride Parade, there will be a 10-day festival, which will include a host of exciting events catered to various tastes. Things will kick off for 2020 on February 14, with the popular Mr and Miss Cape Town Pride Pageant, which will transpire at the Joseph Stone Auditorium.
The main Cape Town Gay Pride Parade on Saturday, February 29 should not be missed! Things will kick off at 1pm from Prestwich Street in the heart of Cape Town's gay district, De Waterkant. It will slowly travel through the city streets, before finishing up at Reddam Field at the Green Point Urban Park, where there will be the incredible post-parade party, Mardi Gras. Under the summer sky, you can enjoy plenty of entertainment with everything from drag shows, singers, DJ sets, and eclectic performances. There are also food and drink options, so you can make a whole night of it!
Things sure do heat up during Cape Town Pride, so if you're looking for a way to cool off, you need to head to the annual Pool Party at the Glenn Hotel. This is arguably a highlight of the gay calendar in Cape Town, and brings loads of locals and tourists together for one fun day in sun! Along with an excellent line-up of music filling the space, you can expect plenty of poolside revelry with lots of new people to meet. The Glenn Hotel is one of Cape Town's best gay hotels, and during Pride it truly shines.
All in all, expect ten days of parties, parades, and events! Set to the backdrop of scenic Sugarloaf Mountain, Cape Town Pride is definitely not something you want to be missing for 2020. So grab your best pride outfit, and hit the Mother City for Cape Town Pride 2020.