Lesbian Teen Raped at South African Gay Pride Event

by Winnie McCroy

EDGE Editor

Wednesday May 14, 2014

Gay rights activists have reported that a lesbian teen was raped after a Gay Pride event in South Africa this Saturday, May 10. Gay Star News reports that the girl was leaving Limpopo Pride in the early evening when a man who offered to give her directions turned on her at a graveyard and allegedly raped her.

The girl escaped and called the police, who returned to the scene and arrested the alleged rapist.

"She is very traumatized. The man knew she is a lesbian and he raped her," Cindy Molefe from Limpopo LGBTI Proudly Out told Mamba Online. Molefe said that she believes the girl was specifically targeted because of her sexuality.

She added that they had specifically tried to get Polokwane officials to permit participants to stay at the cricket ground to avoid similar incidents, saying, "We arranged to pay the venue for two days and for security overnight to avoid incidents like this. It was the safest place for people to be."

Mamba Online reports that the event was held under the theme "LGBTI rights are human rights," and notes that in the past, the event has attracted about 200 marchers, and even more picnic attendees.

The website also reported on the crime, saying that the "horrific rape of a teenage lesbian girl" was part of a string of rapes and murders of lesbian women in recent years, "leading to an international outcry and government and civil society efforts to address the crisis."

Molefe also spoke of her frustration with the municipality's food-dragging. She said that despite months of negotiations with the authorities, she only received written approval at 4 p.m. on Friday. In addition, promised traffic officers meant to secure the route failed to show up.

"It's very bad," said Molofe. "We thought that we had a good relationship with the municipality this year but they failed us completely. It's not acceptable."

Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.