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BINARY

Issue 01

18 May 2018

The Gay Agenda


04 Glossary

06 Editors’ note

07 Meet the Team

Images taken by LIlita Gcwabe of Sboniso Thombeni (he/him). Thombeni is a member of the LGBTQ+ communitty.


Contents 08 Thulani Maphasa finds his safe space

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Censorship: the upgraded post apartheid version

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all about your business

16 The erasure of domestic violence in same-sex relationships

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20 Body is an Archive

FAKA: Rewriting the stories of black queer bodies Being the socially acceptable gay


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LG B T Q+ Glossary Ally- A person who confronts injustices against people who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community. They believe that these injustices are social justice issues and acknowledge their genderstraight privilege. Androgyne- A person identifying outside of the gender binary. Asexual- A sexual orientation where a person does not feel sexual attraction or desire in the ways in which we understand mainstream attraction. This is typically sexual attraction to either the opposite sex or the same sex. Binary- The classification of sex and gender into two distinct and opposite forms: male and female, man and woman. This is our ‘norm’ as society and it excludes anyone who does not identify with this restrictive way of understanding gender and sexuality. Bisexual- A person who is physically and/or sexually attracted to both men/males and women/females.

feminine, or other gendered. Since gender identity is internal, one’s gender is not necessarily visible to others.

Gender non-binary- A gender identity or experience that embraces a range of expressions and ways of being that resonate beyond the binary. Heterosexual- A person who is physically and/or sexually attracted to people of a sex other than their own.

Hypermasculinity- A psychological term for extreme or excessive

masculine behaviour.

Intersex- A general term for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy (sex chromosomes, external genitalia, and/or an internal reproductive system) that does not fit into society’s definitions of either male or female. It’s an umbrella term with about 20 variations.

Cisgender- A person whose gender identity is the same as the one they

Lesbian- A woman who is physically and/or sexually attracted towards people of the same gender.

Demisexual- A person who can only experience sexual attraction

Pansexual- A person who is physically and/or sexually attracted towards people of all genders/sexes.

were assigned at birth which is based on their physical sex.

after an emotional bond has been formed.

Femme- A person who expresses and/or identifies with femininity

and/or describes gender expressions that reclaim and disrupt traditional constructs of femininity.

Gay- A person who is emotionally, physically and/or sexually attracted

towards people of the same gender. This term is usually used to define men who are attracted to one other and does not necessarily apply to all members in the LGBTQ+ community who are attracted to the same gender.

Gender- A social construct used to classify a person as a man, woman, or some other identity.

Gender fluid- A person whose gender identity and expression does

Queer- An umbrella term to describe multiple and intersecting identities outside of the cisgender, heterosexual expression. It’s a rejection of normative constructs of gender and a derogative term which had been previously used to ‘other’ people in the LBGTQ+ community but has been reclaimed by the community.

Sex- A medical term which classifies someone according to their certain

combination of gonads, chromosomes, external gender organs, secondary sex characteristics and hormonal balances. These were previously used to classify someone as either male or female but now 20 other sex variations such as intersex are acknowledged.

Transgender- A range of identities and experiences of people whose gender identity and/or expression differs from society’s expectations based on their assigned sex at birth.

not fit within, between or outside the gender norms.

Gender Identity- A person’s internal sense of being masculine, Images taken by LIlita Gcwabe of Rafé Green (they/them). Green is a member of the LGBTQ+ communitty.

By Nonkosi Matrose

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Editors’ Note By Saskia Bronkhorst and Leago Mamabolo

Non-Binary (Adjective): “Not relating to, composed of, or involving just two things.” The world is jumping out of the binaries and boxes that have long made it a familiar and comfortable place – at least for those who subscribe to our society’s heteronormative, patriarchal and outdated ideals. It is a world of many grey areas informed by nuance from 400 letter characters to entire panel discussions on platforms like the ‘Grapevine’ YouTube channel. The name, Binary (pronounced ‘nonbinary’) fits the mould of the above mentioned grey areas in that the publication is not solely made for or directed at members who are non-binary gendered. It is rather a testament to giving pariahs or the minority that is the Queer community, a place in supposedly ‘normal’ society. The Queer community exists on a spectrum that challenges traditional ways of viewing the world. It is a powerful enigma that cannot be captured or reduced to a phenomenon. These lives are real. They are not fungible. We chose to represent the LGBTQ+ community in ways that society often does not match up to. In this issue we do a lot of “the work” (cueing our inner Oprah Winfrey voices). This work involves dispelling many myths, from who the ‘socially acceptable gay’ is to rewriting the stories of those whose realities have been erased and torn from the pages of time. We took to exploring the many diverse and complex stories that the community has to offer such as looking at LGBTQ+ individuals growing up alongside the antagonisms of the Tembisa Township. Despite the friction of this kind of existence, there is beauty in the struggle. It is shown in the way Queer friends and artists meet to create their own identity through performance art, fashion,

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photography, music and literature. Weaving the experience of love and business together, we witness a couple formulate a unique career path in the world of pop culture which was once designated to the underground and unpopular opinion. To some greater extent it still is but this issue and the experiences of the bodies within it challenge the status quo. While the LGBTQ+ community has existed for millennia, it has certainly developed immensely from the past times of struggle. Mountains have been moved to get the community to where it currently is, but, unfortunately, it is not enough. Through rapid inclusion of LGBTQ+ individuals in media within

the last few years, representation has allowed the community to be heard. While the struggles of today cannot be compared to the issues they have faced in the past, quality of life has improved. With more inclusion and representation, the Queer community will be able to flourish. Our aim is to add to the representation of this community and make their voices even louder. We exist to educate those that still believe in the existence of these binaries. We are here and we are queer. We are proud to be “Binary”. Images taken by Nonkosi Matrose of Saskia Bronkhorst (left) and Leago Mamabolo (right).


meet the team A

ffectionately known as ‘Orange Is The New Brown Girl’, Leago Mamabolo (she/her) is an Azanian love song, radio presenter and TEDx Speaker. She is your favourite unscripted and très tired black girl with a hint of quirk.

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askia Bronkhorst (she/her) enjoys activism, animal rights, and being in touch with nature. She is passionate about everything that she does, especially if it involves writing, designing or photography.

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young performer, Anelisiwe Mahamba (she/her) is a storyteller and all-round artist. She beilieves in personal awareness and following every black feminist on twitter. Alongside her her aspirations in film, her mother is the most important person in her life. She does not believe in “preference” and would like you to know that Beyoncé outsold.

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ith the other half of her perception of the world living inside a Canon lens, Lilita Gcwabe (she/her) has a passion for telling her story and those of many others through captivating imagery. She is inspired by her all-time favourite read, ‘I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings’, by African-American poet and writer Maya Angelou.

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onkosi Matrose (she/her) is a nihilistic inspirational speaker, thriller movie enthusiast, activist for animal rights and a lover of sunsets. She lives up to the title of ‘mgowo gal’ and for exaggerative verbal expressions, indie rock and the saying “you are your own sanctuary”.

Images taken by Anelisiwe Mahamba and Nonkosi Matrose.

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hulani maphasa inds his safe space

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ueer individuals are beginning to find their place in society, establishing safe spaces, gaining rights, and abolishing prejudice. The world seems more accepting than it’s ever been, but many African countries are still trailing behind. For Thulani Maphasa, growing up as a gay man in a township in Johannesburg came with its own problems. Entering the café, you are greeted by a cacophony of sounds, people talking, chairs scraping, and the cook shouting “hot chips!” from the counter. The lime green walls compete with the bustling excitement. So green and bright that they almost scream, “Look at me! I’m vibrant”. Pulling out an uncomfortably narrow wooden chair, you take your place next to Maphasa, whose calming energy juxtaposes the atmosphere of this student café. His quiet, soothing presence makes him silently stand out from the crowd; an act of rebellion in a society that rewards speaking. Maphasa grew up like any other child. He lived with his parents and four siblings and spent his days making friends with his neighbours. His parents made sure never to stifle his expressive nature or creativity directly though there were antagonistic responses made with regards to his friend’s homosexuality. The referred to him as “that gay kid” and told Maphasa not to “turn out like that”. As many other parents do, they would tease that the girl next door would become his wife, though Maphasa brushed this off with a laugh. His laugh was one which surely charmed his parents many times. Though Maphasa speaks quietly, putting thought and meaning into every word spoken, his laugh is loud and energetic. A laugh so carefree, it competes with the energy

By Saskia Bronkhorst Trigger Warning: Homophobia

in the room, melting your shared nervousness away. It’s confident, raw, and happy, a laugh which surely gained him much popularity in school. Although he went to an Anglican boarding school fueled by hypermasculinity, the people and environment were surprisingly and fairly progressive. Maphasa still felt the pressure to fit a hypermasculine stereotype regardless. While he was able to express his artistic flair through drama, he still made sure to play sports as this was viewed as ‘masculine’. He still enjoys playing sport these days, with soccer and rugby being his favourites but it is no longer a way for him to hide his identity.

“No-one chooses to live a life of being on the receiving end of violence.” From the time he discovered he was gay through a wet dream induced by a man, at age 10 or 11, he unconsciously subscribed to a more masculine identity. Maphasa was “assuming a very masculine approach to [his] appearance, to [his] identity”, although, he has grown to be more comfortable with himself. One moment of homophobia in school was when a male student asked to be accompanied to the matric dance by another boy. The school turned down his request and claimed that it would “bring the school to disrepute”. These microaggressions also manifested themselves in the typical school jokes of using the word ‘gay’ as a slur which Maphasa internalized, making sure that his sexual desires for men were never brought up.

Image taken by Saskia Bronhorst of Thulani Maphasa who finds his safe space at Rhodes University.

Social media was the one platform where he was able to be open about his sexuality. On Facebook he was able to meet other guys that were not in his area. This was also where he met his current boyfriend. Another space that allowed him to explore his sexuality was university. It was here where he was able to join clubs and explore his sexuality further. In his first year, he came out to his family in order to lessen the dissonance between home and university. Though he says his mother was fine with his sexuality, he also says “she made some snide comment about how she was excited to have grandchildren”. His grandmother simply stated that “no-one chooses to live a life of being on the receiving end of violence.” Though Maphasa is out and proud, he still has people that he hides his identity from. His brother is still young and living in the township with a negative view on homosexuals, still using derogatory terms generated by the space he lives in. The township still makes Maphasa hide. He says, “I don’t have any friends. I stay at home a lot and I don’t really express myself ”. He is aware that violence is an issue in this society, opting not to wear his crop top at home, knowing that being LGBTQ+ is being “different or deviant to the norm” and this difference carries weight and struggle. Thulani Maphasa is an honorable, intelligent, gay man and with his confident laugh shining through, his calm presence would never let you know of the troubles of his past. He is a person that will take the world by storm with his love for politics. Though it may not always be safe for him to be himself, he will surely carve his own safe space.

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C

ensorship: The Upgraded Post-Apartheid Version By Anelisiwe Mahamba

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outh Africa’s relationship between censorship and media is a long and extensive one. The apartheid government managed to maintain its power over a racially segregated South Africa by controlling the media. This included censoring films – initially international and then local ones. The Publications Control Board had the power to ban a film outright, demand scenes be cut or blatantly restrict the screening of a film to certain (usually white) audiences. The purpose of censorship during the apartheid era was to support and keep apartheid intact, as film theorist and author Keyan Tomaselli points out in The Cinema of Apartheid: Race and Class in South African Film. In Early February the Film and Publication Board’s (FPB) Appeal Tribunal reclassified the film, Inxeba: The Wound, from a rating of 16LS to X18, which meant that the film was put in the same category as hardcore pornography. This means that the film could not be viewed in local cinemas pending court proceedings in March. A month later the North Gauteng High Court overruled the FPB’s Appeal Tribunal rating decision and

reinstated the 16LS rating. The main reason for the X-rating was expressed by The Man and Boy Foundation as well as the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa (Contralesa) who described the movie as an “inaccurate depiction of Xhosa initiation and as revealing sacred traditional aspects”. Inxeba is a love story between two men set in an initiation school. Both The Man and Boy Foundation and Contralesa denied being motivated by homophobic attitudes and insisted that their issue with the film was that it misrepresents the practice of initiation.

If you censor things to make people comfortable, then the point isn’t really made,” said Journalist and media practitioner, Hannah Chibayambuya. She went on to state that the point of films and stories is to make people understand and feel the real emotion that a person went through so in essence, you can cannot censor that. In today’s South Africa, it seems as though citizens have a responsibility to bare witness and provide their own critique of the intersection between discrimination, censorship and history. It is up to them to resist, progress and take a page out of the old apartheid handbook.

The producers of the film accused the FPB of censorship, homophobia and of not following their own governing act or classification guidelines. They maintained that they expected the backlash against the film but feel that there is also a large degree of homophobia underpinning the responses. The topic of censorship has been an ongoing discussion amongst artists, journalists, viewers and authorities alike. “There’s a fine line between censorship and blocking the truth.

Image taken by Lilita Gcwabe of a cencored Sboniso Thombeni.

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“It was a one-night stand that’s lasted for two years now and I’m still here!”

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Image taken by Leago Mamabolo of Blessings Chinganga (left) and Siphokazi Mathe (right) - Lovers and co-founders of the Slow Sunday Social Market.

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ay

ll about our business

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he business of business is relationships; the business of life is human connection”, says Robin Sharma, former lawyer, motivational speaker and author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. This human connection is exactly what we make when we are slow jamming on a slow Sunday in a space that does not feel too far from your grandmother’s ‘stoep’. Blessings Chinganga (referred to as Blessings) and Siphokazi Mathe (referred to as Siphokazi) are lovers as well as the creators of this reinvention of home called Slow Sunday. The event, hosted in Grahamstown, epitomizes both their personalities under the banner of ‘black joy’- Blessings being the breezy brown girl in a trench coat playing ‘executive executing the things’ and Siphokazi being the bold print aesthete splashing colour and vibrance. They are what urban pop culture would call “a mood”. The initial reason for establishing the event was to create a safe space for Queer people and essentially it is the crowd the pair attracts along with their event. “I always knew I was bisexual but I didn’t have the word for it until about four years ago”, say Blessings with a slight pause. She picks up with a warm smile as if she has just found a misplaced item. “I remember I’d tell everyone in pre-school that I have a girlfriend and a boyfriend and the boy would sit between us. That was my life so I’ve always known that I’m equally attracted to boys and girls”, she chuckles in reflection. Siphokazi’s background on being a Queer body is distinctively different to that of Blessings’. “I didn’t really know I was attracted to girls but I had a crush on one of my closest friends but I also didn’t know it was a crush because I had a dream about it!” She breaks out into an animated laugh so much so that the dim light in the tiny self-service room we are situated in lights up, as if to note how silly the whole experience of it was. “In 2016 we were talking to a lot of our friends who are Queer and they were just telling us these horrible stories about being kicked out of Oldies,

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By Leago Mamabolo

Prime and all these various places. They went through different kinds of antagonisms from both men and women who just felt some type of way about their queerness”. They remark on how they had just started dating and did not want to have to be met with that kind of violence. They did not want to suppress the need to be intimate until they were behind closed doors. As a result they headed home and began constructing the idea of what would be a safe haven for both them and other Queer bodies. Former presenter of Rhodes Music Radio’s ‘The Business Buzz’ show, Vuyani Ndzishe, interviewed Blessings and Siphokazi in 2017. He makes a point of how much he enjoyed the event in his experience of it and deeply wants it to expand its horizons as it is an efficient space for its primary target market. This is because heterosexual bodies are allowed in the space too. “Though my critique would be that the event caters to a particular Queer people and a particular Queer aesthetic based on dress”, says Ndzishe quite frankly. “One of the students that I tutor called it ‘an alternative space for alternative people’ based on an experience where he encountered a student who was going to the event who told him that he couldn’t ‘go in looking like that’. There is an impression of Slow Sunday being about aesthetic and clothes and that’s a power statement being projected so I think that’s what they should address in order to attract a broader crowd”. In the ‘Fresh Summer’ (the titled theme of their most recent event) of December 2017 the couple was featured in Between 10 and 5 (a showcase and website for all things creative in South Africa). Blessings sits up enthusiastically at this point, her words running with her as they should! “We met this blogger who was working on consignment for the website and oh my goodness, we love 10 and 5! So we start asking him questions as to how he got to doing this and ultimately he gave us the editor’s details and we took it from there”. Siphokazi teasingly side eyes Blessings to indicate that she left something out

but she does not budge: “Yeah he featured us during fest as well and that was cool”, Siphokazi says nonchalantly. The couple enjoys it when newcomers casually ask them whether they are attending the event or not without knowing that they are in actual fact ‘the situation’ and not ‘the plug’. “I love it personally because sometimes when you centre yourself in an event it polarizes people so there are either going to be people who love it because it’s yours or people who are going to hate it just because it’s yours. Another thing is that Slow Sunday is intended to create a space FOR people and not to centre ourselves in that space”, says Blessings. While the experience of love and business can be all well and dandy in the successes that they share, navigating a romantic and a professional relationship is not always their favourite sport. “It’s haaaard!” they say in unison and we share a hearty laugh. Siphokazi notes that “it’s about putting your emotions aside when it comes to business but there are many benefits to working with your partner because we understand each other. She knows that I don’t like to be rushed when I’m processing stuff or ideas. She’s more of the logistics and less glamorous side of things while I’m more of the creative and handy one”. We also share inspiration such as Andiswa Dlamini’s Same Sex Saturdays, the Cape Town club scene, FAKA and the Afropunk ethos to name a few”. Blessings raises the fact that when they met (several times before this one faithful night that landed her up at Siphokazi’s place) she still feels she was supposed to leave. “It was a one-night stand that’s lasted for two years now and I’m still here!” she says jokingly.

Image taken by Leago Mamabolo. Blessings (left) and Siphokazi (right) established the Slow Sunday Social Market in 2017.


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The erasure of domestic violence in same-sex relationships By Anelisiwe Mahamba Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence, Intimate Partner Violence, Corrective Rape

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South Africa has one of the highest rates of domestic violence in the world. Image taken by Lilita Gcwabe at the ‘OUT’ LGBTQ+ organization in Pretoria.

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outh Africa (SA) has one of the highest rates of domestic abuse/ intimate partner violence (IPV) incidences in the world. Each year the courts in the country process thousands of domestic violence reports and protection orders. According to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development Annual Report there were 395 628 new applicants in 2016 – 2017 alone. Extensive research is frequently conducted on the nature and causes of domestic violence between men and women but unfortunately, little attention is paid to samesex relationships. The public generally fails to see a connection between domestic violence and LGBTQ+ issues and that compromises the safety of queer people in the country. Domestic violence in same-sex relationships is described as a pattern of abuse or violence that occurs within same-sex relationships. In general, domestic violence and IPV are issues that affect people of any sexuality but there are specific issues that affect victims of same-sex domestic abuse. These issues include queerphobia within our communities, lack of legal support as well as the violence they face in having their issues being reduced in comparison to heterosexual or heteronormative cases when reporting. They also include the stigma of HIV as a result of supposed hypersexual behaviour and promiscuity. SA is in constant battle with domestic violence as well as generic societal violence but this

doesn’t only affect the heterosexuals of the country. There are two perspectives that domestic violence and IPV against and within LGBTQ+ spaces are often considered: Hate crimes against queer bodies as well corrective sexual assault against lesbian, bisexual and transgendered women due to their sexuality.

“The South African police are currently not trained to respond competently and sensitively to persons of diverse genders and sexual orientations...” The psychology and notion behind corrective rape or sexual assault is that the aforementioned women are arrogant enough to think that they have a place in supposedly performing masculinity. Domestic violence is regulated by the Domestic Violence Act 116 of 1998 in SA. According to the act, in situations whereby a dispute or disagreement turns abusive within a household, the victim should be given access to justice and protection regardless of their sexual orientation. This is in accordance with the South African Constitution which criminalizes discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Unfortunately, theory does not simply become practise when such situations occur. Service providers and government officials are neglecting their responsibility to the queer community. Board member of the Triangle Project and co-author of the I’m Your Maker, LGBTQ+ domestic violence report, Ingrid Lynch, writes that, “The South African police are currently not trained to respond competently and sensitively to persons of diverse genders and sexual orientations, despite legislative changes such as the South African Domestic Violence Act explicitly including partner abuse in same-sex relationships.” Queer women who participated in the report reflected on varied experiences of secondary victimization from the police. Victimization which includes the police minimizing the seriousness of the case and trivializing the abuse because it is perpetrated by a woman. Too many domestic violence cases which involve LGBTQ+ persons go unreported because queer people fear double victimization from the very people who are meant to help them. It is not enough to have basic human rights written on paper when we fail to put them into practice in our daily lives. Accountability from the government and its citizens will go a long way towards rectifying this.

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Images taken by Lilita Gcwabe of Peddix Mpofana who identifies as a transgender Black woman.

faka: rewriting the stories of black queer bodies By Lilita Gcwabe

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reaking the mould that excludes the identities of the Black LGBTQ+ community in South African society, the performance art duo known as FAKA (made up of Fela Gucci and Desire Marea), tell their stories by sharing realities through music, fashion and photography. Influenced by the pioneering kwaito music group Boom Shaka and the Queen of African Pop, Brenda Fassie, the collective compose music fused with Gqom and Afrobeats to create a style of sound unique to their voices. Putting together eloquent and accentuating outfits, Fela and Desire use fashion, photography and literature to diversify their mediums of expression and radically challenge the representations of Black queer bodies in the media. FAKA shared their debut live performance titled “#WaitLorraine: A Wemmer Pan-African

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Introduction to Siyakaka Feminism” in 2015, at ‘BubblegumClubb Nights’ hosted at the Hazard Gallery in Johannesburg. Siyakaka means ‘We are shitting’, a concept that is derived in a continuing response to mental attitudes about what Black Femininity is and who defines and validates that body. In 2016 they released their first EP ‘Bottoms Revenge’, which speaks to Black culture within a capitalist society, spaces in public transport that threaten queer identities and mental health in Black communities. “I would describe them as fierce”, said Mmabatho Rakitla (32) who placed the duo’s music video for ‘Uyang’khumbula’ as one of her favourites. Rakitla discovered the pair on Soundcloud when she listened to their song ‘From a Distance’ released in 2016. “As a person who identifies as a Black Lesbian, I think FAKA is confronting stereotypes that stifle and silence our experiences

as queer people, especially in being black, they confront more issues that filter into masculinity and cultural practices”, says Rakitla. Inspired by the FAKA fashion, Peddix Mpofana (21 and a transgender female), celebrates her identity in the clothing that she decides to wear; “I always add my own look to the FAKA inspirations, I believe representation is so important”. With daring style and self-expression, the performance art duo takes an unapologetic approach to dismantling gender prejudices through radical representations, paving way for the stories of Black queer bodies.


BEING THE socially acceptable gay By Nonkosi Matrose

Image taken by Nonkosi Matrose. Journalism student and YouTuber, Lelo Macheke, uses his platform to address issues of representation in the LGBTQ+ community.

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n every part of society there are certain people who are more socially acceptable than others. Whether it be women who somewhat reap the social rewards for subscribing to the ‘ ladylike’ norm or queer persons who are rewarded with more attention and gain clout for simply fitting into a gay stereotype. Lasizwe Dambuza, is a South African media personality well-known for his comedic skits on social media and for being a YouTuber. It was recently reported that he bought a house in Sandton, Gauteng. The alleged purchase sparked conversation about Lasizwe’s success who at the tender age of 19 has managed to gain a relatively comfortable lifestyle off of his comedic skits alone. Amidst this conversation a debate about the culture of mimicry was sparked. It was centred around the media representing the stereotypical one-dimensional homosexual that we accept in our society. In response to an article about one of Lasizwe’s latest videos, YouTuber, Lelo Macheke, also known as @SurburbanZulu on twitter, reacted by critiquing a factor which played a large role in Lasizwe’s success: “One of the significant reasons why Lasizwe is this popular is because he presents himself as that stereotypical gay (entertainer) that appeals to the masses and our mass media…”, tweeted Macheke. “There is currency in acceptance”, says Macheke. The issue of our society constantly representing the same feminine, overzealous, flamboyant loud queer man (whose purpose is solely to entertain) is problematic in the sense that this is the only representation we are exposed to in the media. Therefore it becomes difficult for our society

to accept anything different from the sole representation of the queer man we have been subjected to. This not only affects how society sees (and evidently isolates) queer men who do not fit their socially acceptable stereotype, but it also proves to be detrimental to (mainly) young queer men who often feel under pressure to live up to a particular stereotype in order to be accepted. These are regular incidents of exclusion which take place in our society. Macheke tells us of his lived experience in

“There is currency in acceptance” one of his YouTube videos ‘The Great Dane Chronicles: The Geighs Are Alright… But, Are They?’ He speaks of an incident where another gay man approached him and said, “I like the fact that you are gay but not like gay gay”, Macheke asked for clarification on what this meant to which the man responded “You don’t necessarily act like a girl”. This is an example of not only rejection of an atypical gay man from society but also within the LGBTQ+ community. This is a reinforcement of the stereotypes of how certain members of the LGBTQ+ community are expected to appear and perform their sexuality. From inadequate to no representation of the

queer community in the media has and still does play a role in the one-dimensional way in which they perceive themselves and are perceived by general society. Sboniso Thombeni, a BA Drama and Journalism student, describes himself as a media practitioner, tells a story of a time in his adolescence when he thought he was transgender. This, he states, is due to the false portrayal in the media and how the only person who receives love and affection from a man is a woman. Love and affection from a man is what he, in a sense, craved and this led him to the conclusion that he was supposed to be a woman. Had the media played a positive role in shaping the identities and representation of young people who belong to the LGBTQ+ community and influence society’s perceptions of those in the community, gay men like Thombeni and other identities would have gotten to a point of self-acceptance at an earlier stage in their lives. Celebrities, much like Lasizwe, who have various platforms and a great following, are encouraged to speak out on these issues as opposed to perpetuating the ostracism of socially atypical queer bodies.

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B

ody Is T

his photo series, titled reclamation of the pin to identify homosexual men reclaiming the triangle, gay inverted the triangle as thei chose the slogan ‘SILENCE AIDS epidemic and the ins in the 80s. Larry Kramer co which is what made this rec

Gomotsengang Maponyane (framed by Njabulo Maseko’s hands) sits in an open field in Doornpoort, Gauteng-flashing what is represented by the pink triangle as private parts. A great part of visibility is acknowledging that gender is not exclusive to the genitalia one has at birth.

The photo series is a reima pink triangle is placed on d bolize the many struggles f as queer bodies are an ostra visible by society to endang

Maponyane floats above the field in meditation whilst displaying his heart on his sleeve. Making yourself visible as a queer body is an act of vulnerability and baring of one’s soul in the kind of world we live in.

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Displaying his crown his head slightly. The the inner relationsh It is a reminder to th any freedoms to be t form. sometimes kno who you are meant yo


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n Archive

By Leago Mamabolo

‘Body Is An Archive’, pays tribute to the nk triangle used during the Nazi Regime n in the concentration camps. Along with rights activists such as those in ACT UP ir logo to symbolize queer resistance. They E=DEATH’ in response to the rise of the stitutional homophobia it was faced with ompared the epidemic to the holocaust clamation so fitting.

Gomotsegang Maponyane depicts visibility as a tongue. Giving the community a platform to be visible allows their voice to come through the way tongue is platform for speech.

agining of the body as an archive where the different parts of a queer body to symfor harmless visibility. Ironically as much acized minority they are generally made ger their existence.

chakra, Maponyane bows crown chakra symbolizes hip one has with oneself. hose who cannot exercise themselves in their fullest owing your inner self and to be is enough to keep ou sane.

Here visibility is depicted as feet apart.Not everyone in the community walks the same path. Some bodies have the agency and privilege to be more visible than others by virtue of socioeconomic and socio-political contexts such as race, gender and general identity politics.

Images taken by Leago Mamabolo of Gomotsegang Maponyane.

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Image taken by Lilita Gcwabe of Rafe Green

Non-BINARY  

This publication is a contribution to the representation of the LGBTQ+ community.

Non-BINARY  

This publication is a contribution to the representation of the LGBTQ+ community.

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