As South Africans are called upon to do good for 67 minutes on 18 July 2012, in honor of Nelson Mandela, many gay, lesbian, bi and transexual citizens are fearing for their lives, wondering if the current ANC leadership has forgotten about Mandela’s example of appreciation for dignity and freedom from violent persecution.
The LGBTI South African community are mourning a spate of homophobic murders and mutilations that has claimed at at least eight LGBTI persons across the country in the last month:
1. Thapelo Makhutle, gay/trans individual from the Northern Cape was killed, his body mutilated and his head almost completely severed from his body;
2. Neil Daniels was stabbed to death and set alight in Cape Town;
3. Phumeza Nkolonzi was shot thrice by a man who burst into her home in Nyanga;
4. Sanna Supa from Braamficherville, Soweto, was also shot thrice in her driveway;
5. Hendrietta Thapelo Morifi, known as Andritha, from Mokopane, Limpopo, was stabbed and her head almost severed from her body;
Many Shades of Gay is about celebrating the rich, colorful and diverse lifestyles within the gay community. The campaign communicates that no matter who you are or how you see yourself, getting an HIV test every six months is an important part of taking care of yourself, your partners and your community.
It’s important to know one’s current HIV status, especially among gay and bisexual men who are disproportionately affected by the HIV epidemic. Not knowing one’s HIV status leads to missed opportunities for HIV prevention and care. For infection rates to decrease, status awareness must increase.
If I have to be 100% honest, I would have to say that I have always held a strange fascination for women.
Watching them as I go about my day, climbing onto busses, all floaty skirts and gusts of wind, hair tumbling over eyes and smiles.
My glances mostly going unnoticed. When on the odd occasion, when instinct warned of an observer and eyes locked onto mine, I would smile in guilty acquiescence. And more often than not, my smile would be returned. And my heart would burst!
But it would be years before I locked lips with one of my own kind.
For that is still, all these years later, something that I find hard to define.
Who, or better still, what, am I?
‘Dyke’ doesn’t slip easily from my painted lips.
Nor does lesbian in its purest form, as I have a child. A daily reminder that I have lain with ‘the enemy’ and in so doing any hopes of rising in the ranks of Lesbian Hierarchy, dashed. No gold star status for me, sorry.
So where do I fit in? Not just in the world of same sex liaisons and strap- ons, but in the world I technically left behind, because when I crossed over, I got crossed out by many.
I grew up in a very LBGTIQ inclusive family. Even though both my parent’s families (their parents, brothers and sisters) are very bigoted, closed minded and racist – my parents were open minded, accepting and tolerant. My mother was a model agent and my father is an actor. I had exposure to the lifestyle and seeing same sex couples kissing and expressing affection was no different to me seeing a straight couple doing the same. When I was young, I related better to boys. I was very much a tom boy and most of my female friends were tom boys too.
My first kiss I was 10 and it was with a boy who I really liked and it was magical. A year later I had my first kiss with a girl that I really liked was it, too, was just as magical.
First the Tooth Fairy, then Santa Claus... now it turns out that Chako Paul City isn't real either.
Chako Paul City (or Shakebao) is a fictional town of 25,000 all-female residents located in northern Sweden.
Reports of the town surfaced in Chinese press agencies Xinhua and Harbin News in 2009. Apparently it was founded in 1820 by a wealthy, man-hating widow, and men are barred from entering the town. This of course, forced the sex-starved inhabitants had no choice but to turn to lesbianism.
Immediately following the reports, millions of Chinese men swamped Swedish tourist companies with requests for information about it. Yes, I was dissapointed too.
Hypervocal compiled a list of 20 things conservatives have compared homosexuality to. Some of them we've heard before, such as smoking, alcoholism, and some other of society's ills. However, some of these made me want to compare them to "people-who-are-batshit-insane". Take a look:
Slavery: If same-sex marriage were to be legalized, it would be on the same level as legalizing slavery in the eyes of Britain’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal Keith O’Brien.
The iceberg that sunk the Titanic: Truth in Action Ministries produced a whole film around this central theme: “The moral iceberg is ripping a hole through structure of America and we’re taking on water.”
Termites: And not just termites, but termites burrowing into the Democratic Party. Technically this belongs on a list of its own, because this isn’t a social conservative speaking, this is a Democratic Party county chairman. In Texas. Say hello, Dan Ramos:
The Tea Party: Okay, same guy! Dan Ramos again: “I liken [gays] to the Tea Party—the Tea Party and the fucking Nazi Party—because they’re 90 percent white, blue-eyed, and Anglo, and I don’t give a fuck who knows that.”
The Ku Klux Klan: Everybody loves a parade? Not Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George. He compared the gay pride parade to the KKK, saying “One such organization is the Ku Klux Klan which, well into the 1940s, paraded through American cities not only to interfere with Catholic worship but also to demonstrate that Catholics stand outside of the American consensus.”
Hitler: As in defeating the gays is like defeating the craziest sociopath sonofabitch ever, argued Brad Dacus, an official Prop 8 spokesperson at a rally in support of the California ban in 2008.
Head over to Hypervocal for the full list of inane analogies.
The Hite Report, first published in 1976, was a sexual revolution in six hundred pages. To answer sensitive questions dealing with the most intimate details of women's sexuality, Hite's innovation was simple: she asked women, a lot of them, everything--and published the results. One hundred thousand women, ages fourteen to seventy-eight, were asked what they do and don't like about sex; how orgasm really feels, with and without intercourse; how it feels not to have an orgasm during sex; the importance of clitoral stimulation and masturbation; and to name the greatest pleasures and frustrations of their sexual lives, among many other questions.
The following excerpts are from women's testimonials, under the section titled "LESBIANISM".
1. "I have been brought up to believe women are more attractive and more beautiful and I am beginning to believe it."
2. "I've slept with about twenty men and one woman. I found the woman much better."
3. "Sex with a woman for me has involved pressing mound of Venus against mound of Venus on each other's leg."
4. "I'd love to massage a woman I liked and was turned on to, and then gradually arouse her sexually through massage and then slowly make love to her and then stop and talk, and then make love again, then sleep together. But I'd never have the nerve!"
5. "No woman has ever asked me 'Didja come?' They knew."