South Africa – a rainbow of possibilities

Duane Wells | September 20, 2007

Perhaps no country has made more civil rights strides in the last couple of decades than South Africa, which has gone from being a country buried under the oppressive weight of Apartheid to becoming the first and only country to adopt a constitution that expressly guarantees protection from discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and one of the few countries who have a legal constitutional amendment legalizing same-sex marriage. Now South Africa is rolling out the rainbow carpet in celebration of its liberation.

With its Pink Route of gay-owned lodges and hotels and vibrant, burgeoning nightlife scene South Africa is proudly calling itself the "rainbow nation".

As if its spectacular setting and ideal climate weren't enough, Cape Town is the gay and lesbian capital of South Africa. In recent years, gay-friendly guesthouses have proliferated and can now be found throughout the city and its surroundings, while other highlights include shopping at the stylish Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, a downtown brimming with nightclubs and restaurants, and breathtaking beaches all along the coast. Oh, and South Africa's renowned Winelands is just a short trip away.

Not to be missed in the Mother City is the annual Cape Town Pride Festival, which next year will run for ten days near the end of the South African summer, February 22-March 2, 2008. (www.capetownpride.co.za) This year's Pride Parade is sure to build on its previous success, which has seen more than 5,000 people partying in the streets and drawn support from Mayor Helen Zille and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

Then, at any time during the year, there�s the Gay and Lesbian Archives of South Africa. (www.wits.ac.za/gala) which provide a permanent institutional home for a wide range of historical and archival material on the gay and lesbian experience in South Africa. Established in 1997 at the University of Witwatersrand, the Archives offers an innovative tour called Queer Johannesburg, which threads the gay and lesbian experience through the tapestry of Johannesburg.

For more information visit: www.southafrica.net. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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