Skip to main content
All Posts By

Rueko Studio

Thinking About Coming Out During Pride?

By Cape Town Pride

Coming out is a process of understanding, accepting, and valuing your sexual orientation/identity. It involves both exploring your identity and sharing your identity with others. Coming out can be a gradual process or one that is very sudden. The first step usually involves coming out to yourself, often with a realisation that feelings you’ve had for some time make sense if you can define them as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer.

Coming out can be a very difficult process. Our society strongly enforces codes of behaviour regarding sexual orientation and gender identity, and most people receive the message that they must be heterosexual and act according to society’s definition of their gender. For gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons, there may be a sense of being different or of not fitting into the roles expected of you by your family, friends, workplace or greater society. Coming out involves facing societal responses and attitudes toward LGBTQ people. You may feel ashamed, isolated, and afraid.

Although coming out can be difficult, it can also be a very liberating and freeing process. You may feel like you can finally be authentic and true to who you are. You may find a whole community of people like you and feel supported and inspired. Even if it’s scary to think about coming out to others, sometimes the reward can be worth the challenge that coming out entails.

Individuals do not move through the coming out process at the same speed. The process is very personal. It happens in different ways and occurs at different ages for different people. Some people are aware of their sexual identity at an early age, and others arrive at this awareness after many years. Coming out is a continuing, sometimes lifelong, process.

Once you accept that you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, you can decide to be out to others or to stay “in the closet.” You are the only person who can decide when and how it is safe to come out. You may decide to come out in one part of your life and not in another. For example, some people are out to their families but in the closet at work; some people are out at school but in the closet with their families.

Six Stages to Coming Out

The Cass Theory, developed by Vivian Cass (1979) is a six-stage model that describes the developmental process individuals go through as they consider and then acquire a homosexual identity. This model includes lesbian, gay and bisexual identities. You may find yourself in one of these stages. Know that what you are experiencing is completely normal and that many others have had similar experiences.
  • Stage 1 – Identity Confusion: You begin to wonder whether you may be homosexual. Along with other thoughts and feelings, you may experience denial and confusion.

  • Stage 2 – Identity Comparison: You accept the possibility that you may be gay and face the social isolation that can occur with this new identity.

  • Stage 3 – Identity Tolerance: Your acceptance of your homosexuality increases, and you begin to tolerate this identity. Although confusion and distress concerning your sexual orientation decreases, you may feel increased isolation and alienation as your self-concept becomes increasingly different from society’s expectations of you. In this stage, you often begin to contact members of the LGB community.

  • Stage 4 – Identity Acceptance: You have resolved most questions concerning your sexual identity and have accepted yourself as homosexual. You have increasing contact with the LGB community

  • Stage 5 – Identity Pride: You begin to feel pride in being part of the LGB community and immerse yourself in LGB culture. In turn, you have less contact with the heterosexual community. Sometimes you may actually feel angry with or reject the heterosexual community.

  • Stage 6 – Identity Synthesis: You integrate your sexual identity with other aspects of yourself so that it is just one part of your whole identity. The anger you may have felt toward the heterosexual community or the intense pride you may have felt in being homosexual decreases, and you can be your whole self with others from both groups. You feel more congruence between your public self and your private self.

Considerations in Coming Out

In coming out to others, consider the following:
  • Pick someone who you feel is very supportive to be the first person you come out to.

  • When you come out, think about what you want to say and choose the time and place carefully based on what will be most safe and supportive.

  • Be prepared for an initially negative reaction from some people. Some individuals need more time than others to come to adjust to what they have heard from you.

  • Don’t give up hope if you don’t initially get the reaction you wanted. Remember that you have the right to be who you are, and to be out and open about all important aspects of your identity including your sexual orientation. In no case is another person’s rejection evidence of your lack of worth or value.

  • If you have already come out to others whom you trust, alert them that you are coming out and make time to talk afterwards about how things went. Find trusted allies who can help you cope with your experiences.

  • Get support and use the resources available to you.

Resources for LGBTQ Students

For gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer people the coming out process can be both difficult and liberating. For most people, it takes time to know who you are. It is okay to be confused or to be uncertain about whether or how to come out. Remember, you are not alone. There are many others with the same questions and concerns that you have. There are also people and organisations that can support or mentor you. It’s important to find the help you need from the resources available to you. Here are some resources that may be helpful.

Online and Written Resources:

One safe means of beginning to come out to yourself is through reading about how others have dealt with similar issues. There are many books and articles available on all facets of LGBTQ life. These can include clinical studies on LGBT people, coming out stories, and resources for allies and families of LGBTQ individuals.

  • A list of general books on LGBTQ issues

  • A list of coming out books for individuals and their families or friends

Other books related to coming out:

  • Now That You Know. Betty Fairchild & Robert Leighton. New York, NY. Harcourt Brace and Jovanovich, 1989.

  • Beyond Acceptance. Carolyn Welch Griffin, Marina J. Wirth & Arthur G. Wirth. New York, NY. St. Martin’s Press, 1997.

  • Straight Parents/Gay Children. Robert A. Bernstein. New York, NY. Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1995.

Online resource for allies friends and family: Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

Cape Town Pride Wins The Best Pride in Africa

By Cape Town Pride

InterPride is excited to announce the 1st Annual InterPride Award winners!

Starting in 2021, InterPride launched the annual InterPride Awards granted to individuals and organisations that have significantly impacted our community over the last twelve (12) to twenty-four (24) months. Eight (8) award categories were established, and nominations were accepted from the general public and member organisations. The award includes a cash prize of $100, a certificate of acknowledgement, and a permanent listing on our website. The board of directors reviewed all nominations and decided which individuals or organisations were granted the awards. Of the 138 responses for nominations, InterPride is proud to announce the following winners of this year’s annual awards:

 

Outstanding Member Pride Organisers

Outstanding InterPride Volunteer

  • Emmanuel Temeros

Outstanding InterPride Partner Organization

  • Happy Socks

Why the R50?

By Cape Town Pride

So, why the R50?

One of the most common and frequently asked questions that we get is: ‘So, why the R50?’ and we thought that it’s about time that we break it down.

Cape Town Pride is the biggest Pride on the African continent with 10 days of fabulous events, with 26 inclusive events happening over those 10 days.

If we look just at the main day, the Parade and Mardi Gras, the numbers can get a bit scary! Before we even set a sequinned heal onto the field we have to get R20 000 000,00 public liability to make sure that we comply with the new City of Cape Town By-laws and to make sure that if anything happens, we are safe and sound.

Once we have done that we can place said heel onto the field which cost, roughly, R90 000,00. Now that we have the field, we have to put the basics into place like; security, fencing and cleaning which comes in at about R77 000,00. This excludes the extra 20 cleaning staff which we hire from shelters in the area to make sure that the area is spic-and-span afterwards.

So we have the Public Liability, the Field and the Basics. next on this list is the Essentials. Things that fall into this list would be; Safety Officers, Medical, Lighting, Stage, Sound, Sound Engineer, Tenting and Permits (these include items like; SAPS Risk Rating certificates, Noise Exemption certificates, Rate-Payers approval, Traffic approval, Liquor License, Temporary Structure Applications, Structural Engineers sign-offs, Environmental Impact certificate). This whole endeavour costs in the region of R155 000,00.

Now that we have Public Liability, the Field, the Basics and Essentials we can finally move on to the stuff that makes the Mardi Gras: People and Artists.

We are very lucky that many of the artists that perform on stage at Pride discount their rates so that we can have them on this amazing day. On average we have to budget about R22 000,00 so that we can cover their basic costs.

So to host just the Parade and Mardi Gras we are looking at R400 000,00. To achieve this we have to get at least 8000 paying people through the door to make the event happen.

Cape Town Pride also gives away about 1500 free tickets to NGO’s/NPO and community projects whose members cannot afford the entrance fee. The policy at Cape Town Pride is that no one is turned away and if you can not afford it, you should approach your local LGBTI+ NGO/NPO/Community project and get your ticket.

This amount doesn’t include any of the other 25 events happening during the Pride weeks. It also doesn’t include the outreach donations that we make such as; R40 000,00 to the Nkoli House Project, production of the One Voice magazine, annual food donation to Homes for abused and abandoned children and a grassroots project that we support in the community.

 

Think of your R50 as partying and celebrating with a conscious. Pride is for everyone, and together we can make a more diverse and inclusive LGBTI+ community in Cape Town.