South Africa, Africa

South Africa is known for its diversity and eleven official languages are recognized in its constitution. English is the most commonly spoken language in official and commercial public life, however it is only the fifth most spoken home language. On 31 May 1961 the country became independent from England. It has three capitals: Pretoria (administrative), Bloemfontein (judicial), and Cape Town (legislative). Homosexuality is legal and South Africa's post-apartheid constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. On 1 December 2006 South Africa made history by becoming the fifth country in the world and first in Africa to legalize same-sex marriage. However, homophobia still runs high. 

 

News & Reports:

 

The Cape Town schools learning from transgender students

As an increasing number of young South Africans reveal that their gender identities differ from their sex at birth, schools are learning about the challenges these students face, writes the BBC’s Mohammed Allie from Cape Town. Three years ago, Alex* transitioned from a boy to a girl. Now eight years old, she wears her blonde… Read more »

Africa’s first ever LGBTI games is happening this weekend

We’re promised the opening ceremony will be ‘extravagant’ and ‘colorful’ It took three years to turn from an idea into reality, but this weekend the first ever LGBTI AfroGames are happening in Durban, South Africa. Hlengiwe Buthelezi wanted to bring a Gay Games style event to Africa to help promote LGBTI rights across the continent.… Read more »

South Africa passes historic vote to protect civil unions from homophobes

More than half of South Africa’s marriage officers are exempted from performing same-sex marriages based on conscious or religious exemption The lower house of parliament (National Assembly) in South Africa has voted for a historic change to civil union laws. South Africa has recognized civil unions since 2006 but today’s changes will mean that officials… Read more »

AfroQueerPodcasts

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This year’s Soweto Pride is the biggest one yet as hundreds celebrate

The LGBTI community wants to reclaim the streets of Soweto The Soweto Pride is on this weekend and just two years after it was forced to shut down it is celebrating its biggest event yet. For the first time ever the Soweto Pride will run over three days and feature a parade, camping and after-party.… Read more »

Two teenage girls in South Africa have been expelled for kissing

Two South African girls have been expelled for kissing each other. The teenagers were thrown out of Durban’s Inanda Seminary, a private Christian boarding school for girls, after seminary officials said they were caught kissing for 20 minutes. In June, South Africa’s Equality Court found that religion was no excuse for homophobia, ruling against a… Read more »

A gay love story set in South Africa’s secretive male traditional initiation has sparked outrage

The creators of Inxeba/The Wound always knew the film would be controversial. A hidden gay romance set in the secretive world of a traditional initiation school for Xhosa boys, the film sparked outrage long before it was released. The film’s weekend release on Feb. 2 in cinemas around the country led to protests and some… Read more »

Transgender people to be given a voice

Little is known about how many of South Africa’s transgender women have HIV‚ what experiences of stigmatisation they have and what their lives are like – and even how many there are. The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) on Wednesday launched its first study of transgender people to hear their stories. South Africa has the… Read more »

In South Africa, Queer Marriage Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Queer Equality

With homophobia and violence still all too common in the country, there’s a lot left to be done. Last year, the Other Foundation, a South African LGBTQ rights NGO, released a nationally comprehensive survey on LGBTQ issues there called “Progressive Prudes.” It was so named because of the conflicting nature of queer rights and attitudes… Read more »

The queer Xhosa film rocking Durban

The film that’s really getting the 38th annual Durban International Film Festival talking is the African premiere of a frank and beautiful gay Xhosa initiation love story called Inxeba (The Wound), which explores masculinity and tradition – but is made by a white director. Here’s what five pan-African reviewers at the festival, on the Talents… Read more »

South Africa To Provide Free Treatment To All People Living With HIV

South Africa, which leads the world in HIV infections, said Thursday that it will offer free treatment to all people living with the disease. Previously, only people with a low white blood cell count were eligible for free treatment. “This new policy extends this to all people living with HIV,” South Africa’s health department said.… Read more »

Desmond Tutu’s daughter leaves clergy after marrying female partner

Mpho Tutu-van Furth says move was forced on her as the South African Anglican church does not recognise her marriage The daughter of one of the world’s best-known Christian leaders has given up her right to officiate as a priest in South Africa following marriage to her female partner. Mpho Tutu-van Furth – whose father,… Read more »

Jozi Cats: South Africa’s first gay and inclusive rugby club

Subverting stereotypes in new campaign, players tell the Daily Maverick they’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response Africa’s first gay and inclusive rugby club has launched a provocative campaign featuring homophobic slurs in a bid undermine stereotypes. The new recruitment drive features posters of team members accompanied by words such as “queen”, “fairy” and “pansy”.… Read more »

South Africa’s first gay rugby team smash homophobic stereotypes

The Jozi Cats are South Africa’s first openly inclusive gay rugby team. After starting up in early 2016, the team began their campaign in the world of rugby with a photoshoot that was designed to challenge masculine stereotypes that surround the sport. The shoot presents the players in provocative poses in front of images that… Read more »

South Africa’s Safe House Offers Gay Community Refuge And Hope

“I decided to come here so I would be free. No one is going to threaten me because I’m gay.” Cape Town, South Africa (RNS) Sipping ginger beer at an outdoor restaurant in Gugulethu, one of South Africa’s murder hubs, Prince January said he feels safe. Across the train tracks at their shared home in… Read more »

South Africa: Father granted surrogate maternity leave

A court has granted full maternity leave to a father whose baby was delivered by surrogate. In South Africa, mothers who give birth are entitled to four months maternity leave, starting one month before their due date. The man, who is unnamed to protect the identity of his child, had a child with his same-sex… Read more »

South Africa: Pretoria introduces healthcare centre for gay and bisexual men

The city of Pretoria in South Africa has introduced a healthcare practice for gay and bisexual men as an alternative to “abusive” general facilities. The Times Live reports the Ten81 Medical Practice features a HIV and STD specialist nurse as well as a doctor who is an expert in sexual health. Director Dawie Nel said… Read more »

Proud Healthy

Factors such as stigma, discrimination, violence, gaps in the knowledge and attitudes of health-care workers, and the criminalisation of same-sex acts have adversely affected the access to and uptake of health-care services by LGBTIs in Southern Africa. To address the need to build and strengthen the capacity of LGBTI organisations in Southern Africa in the… Read more »

African Pride – the fight for gay rights in South Africa

Documentary to be screened at Galway Film Fleadh South Africa’S post-apartheid constitution was the first to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but the legal aspiration and the reality on the ground are very different. Homophobia continues to find violent expression in assaults, rapes, and murders, and since April 2011 more than 20… Read more »

Pretoria Trans Pupil Attempts Suicide After School Abuse

A young transgender pupil in Pretoria has attempted suicide after he was abused by his schoolmates. Activists from Transgender and Intersex Africa (TIA) have reported that Tshepo (not his real name) has been targeted by his fellow pupils, and their older friends who are not pupils at the school. They tried to disrobe him, threatened… Read more »

South Africa’s Terrible Solution to the Gay Blood Donation Ban

The widespread ban on blood donations by men who have sex with men is idiotic not because it’s homophobic—which it is—but because it’s based on bad science. Ignore the FDA’s panicky anti-gay animus for a moment and consider its stated rationale: to “maximally protect the recipients of blood products” from diseases, namely HIV. The problem… Read more »

Life on the run from homophobia

Gay and trans Africans often seek asylum in South Africa, supposedly a “safe haven” for LGBTI people. But it’s no bed of roses here either. In recent months Uganda and Nigeria attracted international attention when they decided to tighten laws criminalising homosexuality. Allies by circumstance, Muslims and Christians joined forces in the witch-hunt for gays,… Read more »

Cape Teens Watch As Gay Man Beaten, Set On Fire

A young gay man has been brutally tortured and killed in a horror hate murder in the Western Cape. The Son daily Afrikaans newspaper reported that 23-year-old David Olyne from Ceres was killed over the weekend while a group of teens blithely watched on. Senior Reporter Maahir Pretorius told Mambaonline that his investigation had led… Read more »

South African activists demand action against ‘corrective rape’ epidemic

Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Campaigners have warned that sexual attacks by men against lesbians in South Africa are continuing to increase. Corrective rape is a hate crime in which men rape lesbians in what they see as an attempt to ‘correct’ their sexual orientation. Clare Carter… Read more »

Lesbian murder condemned

Johannesburg – The murder of lesbian Duduzile Zozo was brutal, senseless and unacceptable, Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane said on Tuesday. “We urge the community to approach police with any information that will lead to the arrest of people responsible for this barbaric act, so that they can face the full might of the law,” Mokonyane… Read more »

Two gay pride parades for Joburg this year

Johannesburg – After months of uncertainty about whether Joburg will host a gay pride parade after organisers quit, the city will now have two. This highlighted ingrained divisions within the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community that were unlikely to dissipate in the foreseeable future, activists said. Last year, members of the feminist anti-rape… Read more »

A day in the field with Sindiswa

Challenging homophobia and improving the health and rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex  people in Cape Town Sindiswa works as a senior field worker for Bridging the Gaps partner organization Triangle Project in Cape Town, South Africa. Every day she is driven to do what she can to improve the health and rights… Read more »

South Africa: Gay man killed after going on online date in Cape Town

Reports out of South Africa say a gay man has been killed after going on a date with a person he met over the internet. The body of Graham Flax, 65, was found under a duvet in the corridor outside his flat in Cape Town last weekend. According to News24, a police spokesperson said Mr… Read more »

Blind Alleys

The Unseen Struggles of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Urban Refugees in Mexico, Uganda and South Africa PART I Guidance for NGOs, Governments, UNHCR & Program Funders Read PDF Source – Oram International

South Africa: Crimes against gay community highlighted

Khayelitsha – This year has brought to the fore just how much danger and hate lesbians living in the townships still face every day, says activist and Free Gender founder Funeka Soldaat. “It has been a bad year for gays and lesbians [despite] the beginning of democracy,” Soldaat said. “This year we had the worse… Read more »

South Africa: Lesbian dies after being stabbed with spear

According to the Cape Argus newspaper, Sihle Sikoji, a member of a community group that supports lesbian, bisexual and transgender women who have been sexually assaulted, was stabbed in the chest with a “mini-spear” at the start of last weekend. The attack occurred on Friday 9 November in a part of Cape Town. A friend… Read more »

Tragic story of homophobic violence

For Thabiso Radebe – a proudly gay man – it wasn’t until he was at university that he fully realised how backward society is when it comes to accepting other people’s sexual orientation. In an environment where you’d expect more tolerance, Radebe and his friends found quite the opposite. “Students did not acknowledge gays and… Read more »

South Africa: The (re)making of men

Johannesburg,(PlusNews) – Manhood might be hard to define but South African media make it even harder, according to editors of a new book, who argue that negative coverage of men is doing more harm than good, especially when it comes to HIV. Now they are looking to rewrite masculinity in a country that ranks among… Read more »

ANC slams anti-gay violence

‘It is my belief that gay rights are human rights and that no homophobic violence or prejudice should be tolerated.’ – Western Cape ANC secretary. THE ANC has strongly condemned conservative and traditional communities use of culture as a justification for homophobic discrimination and violence. The ruling party made their stance clear during a meeting with… Read more »

South Africa’s Mandela day protests against anti-gay hate

Thousands of LGBT people have marked Nelson Mandela’s birthday with protests across South Africa against rising levels of hate crimes and government inaction As South Africans celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 94th birthday the country’s LGBT communities call upon their leaders to take firm action against the rising tide of hate crimes. Thousands of LGBT people protested… Read more »

Gay asylum seekers speak of discrimination in S. Africa

Cape Town (AFP) — Gay African asylum seekers struggle to find work and battle homophobic discrimination in South Africa, the continent’s only nation to allow same-sex marriage, a report showed Tuesday. Interviews with 25 Africans by a Cape Town NGO found that 90 percent were jobless and that nearly all felt unsafe because of their… Read more »

Unsafe haven: Gay refugees in South Africa

With South Africa facing a flood of gay and trans refugees, a creaking asylum system is exposing them to corruption, homophobia and the risk of attack People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty protesting for gay asylum seekers in South Africa. A little over a week ago, Rachel, a 28 year-old asylum seeker from Uganda had… Read more »

The traditional courts bill threatens LGBT South Africans

Proposed legislation giving traditional leaders sole legal authority would undermine the security granted by the bill of rights Since the end of apartheid in South Africa, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities have made unprecedented legal gains under the rubric of the bill of rights. In 2004, 10 years after South Africa’s transition to… Read more »

Mr Gay World 2012 won by German man

The fourth Mr Gay World contest took place in Johannesburg, South Africa, yesterday. This was the first time that the contest included black African participants, whose involvement brought its own fraught set of problems. The title was taken by Andreas Derleth, a German man who lives in New Zealand and who beat 21 other contestants.… Read more »

Impassioned fighter for ‘the devil’s people’

“You Are HIV Positive” wrote the doctor who tested 36-year-old John Meletse in 2002. He spelt it out in enormous capitals and held the page right in front of Meletse’s eyes. Meletse, who was born deaf, covers his face with his hands as he tells his story of when he was tested for HIV. His… Read more »