It was a colorful evening when our very own Empire BW hosted the debut Pride Masquerade Party last weekend at Phakalane most popular hangout spot, Cigar Lounge in honor of the Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender (LGBT) Culture and Pride. The event was staged to show solidarity with LGBTs in their fight for legal rights such as same sex marriages and the right to change gender markers after having sex changes.
Originally known as the Gay Pride, celebrations like these were considered a campaign against LGBT discrimination, helping them to promote their dignity; celebrate their sexual diversity and gender variance. All this was done to rid society of the centuries old prejudices and social stigma that attended the LGBTs.
The LGBT community in Botswana has over the years overcome many hurdles including the prohibition to associate as LEGABIBO, and the more recent successful challenge against official rebuff against Tshepo Ricki Kgositau’s wish to change her gender marker from male to female on her official identity documents. Brian Dintwe, the CEO of Empire BW noted that the event was staged to celebrate peoples’ sexuality regardless of their orientations, whether they are heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.
The Pride Masquerade Party gave attendees a license to dummy run a diversity of sexual orientation experiences during the night, as the mask allowed them to play naughty and nice. As guests entered the elegant venue, they were provided with masks. The idea of a touch of pink and white was a fun theme used as people do not expect a male to wear pink. Brian Dintwe said: “We wanted to play around the whole concept and have people come out in those colors, though they did not really represent anything major but more of a fun color scheme to work with.”
The term Pride is brought into play in the LGBT Community for events that are hosted within their community. The set up of the event gave attendees access to the dance floor, terrace and VIP section so they could mingle and dance the night away. Music was provided by DJ’s; Das, Cody Da Core and ShimRock while the MC was Gabs Diva. The event started at 6p.m until late and the entry fee was P100 including the mask.