Week of activism in support of sexual diversity kicks off

16 September 2013 | Story by Newsroom

Pink WeekA pink closet has become a familiar sight at UCT during Pink Week, and is intended to raise awareness about homophobia.

RainbowUCT will launch its week of activism on Jameson Plaza today at 13:00.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Thandabantu Nhlapo will open proceedings, which will usher in a programme of events marking UCT's annual Pink Week which this year runs from 16 to 20 September.

The programme will include panel discussions, debates and film screenings, to promote awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer (LGBTIQ) rights.

As was the case over the last couple of years, the UCT homepage is pink in support of Pink Week. RainbowUCT's pink closet will again be stationed on Jammie Plaza for the duration of the week and all are welcome to write their comments on the closet.

According to Shannon Cupido, RainbowUCT chairperson, campaigns such as these are important for South Africa as the country continues to strive towards equality. "Given the spate of rapes and the murder of black lesbian women in recent years, and the various less-publicised prejudice and discrimination other LGBTIQ individuals face on a daily basis, it seems our Constitution is more a portrait of who we aspire to become, and less who we are at present. For this reason, events such as Pink Week are of the utmost importance and necessary."

The opening of Pink Week will be followed by a candlelit vigil on the lawn of the Graça Machel residence in remembrance of survivors of 'corrective' rape. On Tuesday a panel discussion titled Homosexuality is more African than Christianity will take place in Leslie Social 2B. One of the speakers is Rowan Smith, a former dean of the Anglican Church.

Pink Week will end on Friday with a late afternoon picnic next to the dam at North Stop on upper campus.

RainbowUCT is a UCT student society for all people who appreciate sexual diversity. Aside from promoting individuals' right to choose their own lifestyle, the society offers support to people coming to terms with their own sexuality.

View more information on RainbowUCT and Pink Week.

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