Stand up and be counted

Nokubonga Yawa
Interview
GroundUp interviewed Justin Peters, Cape Town Pride Brand Ambassador and PR Director on the Cape Town Pride Event which happened on Saturday March 2, 2013.

GroundUp: For someone who doesn’t know what Cape Town Pride is, how would you explain it?

Peters: Pride is a time when everyone, from all walks of life, comes together in celebration of just being proud of who they are. It’s creating awareness out there of living your authentic self.

GroundUp: What is this year’s theme?

Peters: This year the theme for Cape Town Pride 2013 is ‘Stand up and be counted’.

GroundUp: Why is it happening in town but not in the townships?

Peters: This year we will be hosting a pride parade in the township! It will be happening on the 18th of May which is rather exciting for Cape Town Pride and we hope that with great planning this will become an annual event where the city will host a winter and summer pride like many other cities across the world.

GroundUp: What is your message to the youth of South Africa this year?

Peters: Our message to the youth of South Africa is that being proud of your authentic self is when you can reach your full potential and live your biggest dreams. Don't let the world determine your path by their ignorance, you are the only one who can. Stand up and be counted!

GroundUp: For those who have just discovered their sexuality, where can they get help?

Peters: There are many safe environments if you want to get information on the process of coming out and being proud to be gay! The best place is to go onto the internet and search for organisations such as: Out well-being; Free Gender; Health4Men; Queerlife and mambaonline, or get copies of Out Africa Magazine/ Pink Tongue Newspaper where there are great details of many of these places that you can contact.

GroundUp: To the issue of lesbians being raped and killed almost every day, what is your message?

Peters: It will get better. Now is the time that we, as citizens of the world, need to stand together and fight for the rights of women; not because they are lesbian, but because they are the mothers, sisters and aunts of the world - the ones that nurture - and we cannot allow this. Let's create awareness as communities. We need to do something now because right now we don't need black people, we don't need white people, nor do we need coloured, Indian, Asian or any other type of person; what we need is South Africans. So let's stand up and be counted.