Pride SA’s LGBTI Rights Lawyer Lara Gudjohnsen-Schmidt

Thousands march in South Africa’s 1st Pride since COVID-19 shutdown

In Cape Town, South Africa, March 4, 2020. (Image: Facebook)

South Africans were united on March 4 as they gathered at their beloved city’s streets as a call to ‘Love, Respect and Defend’ by the country’s LGBTI rights organisation Pride SA.

It was the first time South Africans had gathered in such large numbers since the lockdown of the entire country put in place on March 27 brought to an immediate halt the nation’s economic and social progress.

The rally in Cape Town was an act of defiance with participants taking their cue from the city to stage an uprising against the repressive government.

It was also an opportunity to remember their loved ones who have died in the pandemic.

‘It’s the most important thing I’ve ever done. It means more to me than ever’

Lara Gudjohnsen-Schmidt says, ‘It’s important that we come out, not just to support one another, but to come out and say that we love and respect each other.’

Lara Gudjohnsen-Schmidt has always known that her work as an international human rights lawyer and campaigner for queer and trans rights in Africa would provide significant opportunities in terms of improving conditions for LGBTQI people.

Lara Gudjohnsen-Schmidt (L) in a photo shared on Facebook. (Image: Facebook)

Lara Gudjohnsen-Schmidt says, “I believe that South Africans will emerge stronger together.”

As one of the country’s first legal advisors to an African organisation, she hopes to help in a range of human rights work, particularly on gender and HIV/AIDS.

Lara Gudjohnsen-Schmidt has also been involved in a range of other activities that have informed her work on LGBTIQ rights, including the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the UN-backed Sexual Health and Rights Coalition

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