The Pride rainbow sidewalk is said to be the first LGBTIQ+ landmark in Namibia (Photos: Equal Namibia)
In a vibrant culmination of Namibia’s Pride celebrations, LGBTIQ+ activists recently gathered in Windhoek to repaint the capital city’s iconic Pride rainbow sidewalk.
Located outside The Brewers Market, the colourful sidewalk depicts the intersex-inclusive Progress Pride Flag. It was first painted on the walkway in 2021 as part of that year’s Namibia Pride commemorations.
Renewing a Symbol of Queer Hope
Several activists and volunteers joined forces on December 9 to repaint and restore what is hailed as Namibia’s first LGBTIQ+ landmark.
The occasion marked the conclusion of a week-long Pride festivity, which featured exhibitions, film screenings, a community wellness day, comedy and theatre shows, and a drag night.
“Together, in community, we will build an equal Namibia for us all. The Rainbow Sidewalk is a message of hope and a symbol of resilience,” shared Equal Namibia on X.
“To every queer Namibian watching, never doubt that you belong. Thank you to our community and allies, and happy Pride, Namibia,” the group said.
The Fight for LGBTIQ+ Rights in Namibia
LGBTIQ+ rights took centre stage in Namibia this year after a groundbreaking Supreme Court ruling on May 16. The court mandated the state to recognise same-sex marriages registered in countries where they are legal.
This judicial milestone, while lauded by advocates, triggered homophobic vitriol and protests from anti-LGBTIQ+ religious leaders and politicians.
Lawmakers in September sought to reverse the court’s decision through legislation, raising concerns about the potential erosion of judicial independence and the rule of law. As of now, the bill awaits the signature of President Hage Geingob.
In November, Namibia’s High Court heard arguments in a case challenging the discriminatory laws criminalising same-sex intimacy. The verdict, expected in May 2024, holds significant implications for the ongoing battle for LGBTIQ+ rights in Namibia.