Page 1

AFRICA

MAGAZ I N E Issue 30, AUTUMN 2017

PULL OUT ALL THE EVENTS OF PRIDE WEEK

FAREWELL TO A GAY SUPERSTAR

SINGER, SONGWRITER, ACTIVIST ... 9 772304 859004

21

R25.00 incl. VAT

LATHEEM


INSIDE THIS ISSUE FEATURES

1 EDITORS COMMENT: 3 TRAVEL: Italy - More than designer cars and clothes 6 MOONLIGHT: A coming of age drama for everyone 8 THE BUZZ: News, snippets & gossip 10 ICON: George Michael - Farewell to a gay superstar 16 Pride is a duty 18 LATHEEM GABRIEL: Cape Town’s up and coming star 20 PRIDE CAPE TOWN 2017 EVENTS CALENDAR PULL OUT 23 QUEENS NIGHT OUT: Go sparkly at Priscilla 23 ABSA supports gay pride 26 LIBERTY BANKS: 28 Religion and Homosexuality 32 HEALTH: Core Conditioning 34 WORD PERFECT: A look at Ekow new book “The God Who Made Mistakes 45 MEN’S HEALTH ISSUES: How your local clinic can hook you up

3

6

10

FASHION

18

12 - 15 Latest trends on the catwalk

SCENE OUT 22, 24, 25 Who’s been spotted out and about on the party scene...

REVIEWS 36 OUT TO LUNCH: Ben Wei 37 MUSIC MOVES: Trainspotting 2 38 OUT ON FILM: With Daniel Dercksen 39 OUT ON DVD: With Daniel Dercksen 40 ON STAGE: With Daniel Dercksen

36 Mag 1


FROM THE EDITOR

I

t is that time of the year again where we dig out our craziest outfits, adorn floats and head down to be a part of the biggest Pride celebration in Africa - Yes you guessed it, it’s the Cape Town Pride Mardi Gras and parade which after a week of Pride events culminates with the Parade and Mardi Gras on Saturday the 4th March ... and according to the organisers will be bigger and better than ever before. So save the date and get down to the Green Point Urban Park and enjoy a day of togetherness - this year’s theme is “I AM WHAT I AM” - so be yourself!!! To help you plan your Pride week there is a pull out Calendar of Events on pages 20 & 21 of the magazine. In this issue we feature an exclusive interview with up and coming singer/songwriter Latheem Gabriel who is featured on the cover and will be one of the headline acts at this year’s Cape Town Pride celebrations. There is a very interesting article on how homosexuality is dealt with by the various mainstream religions - for those of you in particular who have issues with religion and homosexuality this is definitely worth the read. Christmas day 2016 saw the very sad passing of George Michael, a legend in his lifetime and openly gay superstar we pay tribute to the man who was an inspiration to so many all over the world - see pages 000. On page 000 we look at the new movie - Moonlight, that is getting nominations at all the leading award events internationally. The film is also the feature movie at the Pride Movie night at the Labia Theatre, so get you tickets and you won’t be disappointed. Happy Pride, stay safe and celebrate your sexuality! Tommy Patterson - Editor

Cover Credit Latheem Gabriel MANAGING EDITOR: Tommy Patterson 082 562 3358 ISSN 2304-859X Published by: Patterson Publications P.O. Box 397, Sea Point 8060 Tel/Fax: 021 555 1279 E-mail: outmagafrica@telkomsa.net outlet@telkomsa.net

Advertising Sales: Tommy Patterson 082 562 3358

Contributors: Daniel Dercksen Bruce Little, Liberty Banks Additional Photography: SDR Photography Brendine Kruger Evan Tsouroulis

Printed by ABC Press, Cape Town

Copyright: All articles, stories, interviews and other materials in OUT Africa Magazine are the copyright of the publication or are reproduced with permission from other copyright owners. All rights are reserved. No materials may be copied, modified, published or otherwise distributed without the prior written permission of OUT Africa Magazine. The views, opinions, positions or strategies expressed by those providing comments in this publication are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of OUT Africa Magazine or any employee thereof. OUT Africa Magazine and Patterson Publications cc., will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in any information contained in the publication.

Mag 2


TRAVEL

ITALY IS MORE THAN STYLISH CARS AND DESIGNER CLOTHES

Italian actor - Giulio Berruti - just one of those hot Italian men

Gay and Italy? That’s a difficult combination because as the home of the Catholic Church. The closet for Italian’s especially, was not about fashion. But Italy gave the world the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci, Andrea Bocelli, Verdi, Enzo Ferrari, Gallileo, Dante, Titian and thousands of other notable, extraordinary people. As a gay travel destination Italy has it all, paradise-like beaches, historical sites, vibrant cities, art treasures and hot, hot Italians.

T

here are so many hot men on the streets, but every city in Italy has only few exclusively gay places. Italy was the last of the EU countries to allow same-sex civil unions and being the home of the Catholic church is a very conservative country. That being said, the country has many great cities and places to visit. Rome can be considered as one big museum so steeped in history that you need at least a week to see it all. Venice is world renowned, and Florence, is breath-taking. Here you will be able to see Michelangelo’s statue of David which is simply the most beautiful sculpture ever created. The city has so much to see that a few days need to be set aside to take it all in.

The first major city and obvious starting point is the Italian capital of ROME. The Eternal City is like one big open air museum. As a visitor one just has to visit the city’s most popular tourist attractions, the Colosseum, Forum, Trevi Fountain .. the list is endless. Religion plays a large role in the lives of most Italians and a visit to The Vatican is a mind-blowing experience. Here you will see the world famous St Peter’s Square and Cathedral. Exploring the Vatican City needs time – see the awe-inspiring Sistine Chapel, take a selfie beside a Swiss guard and marvel at the art, sculptures, wealth and grandeur. On the streets you’ll see not only beautiful buildings from the Mag 3


Roman Empire, the glorious Renaissance and the magnificence of the Baroque, but also loads and loads of gorgeous Italian boys.”Gay Street”, or Via San Giovanni in Laterano, a road behind the Coliseum, was formally designated Rome’s gay area in 2007. Each year, the city also hosts Gay Village, a summer-long festival of live music, sport, dance, theatre, film and other events at Parco del Ninfeo. With a little research, you’ll find many references about homosexuality in ancient Rome, afterall Italy is a storehouse of gay history which will make your trip even more interesting. And of course no visit to Rome would be complete without enjoying its culinary pleasures, including a sampling of Italy’s very best gelati… Often described as a “diamond in the rough”, NAPLES is considered the seventh most gay-friendly place in Italy and the most gay-tolerant city in southern mainland Italy. Capri, an island 45 minutes by boat from Naples, is also considered a safe-haven for the gay community. Further down the coast is the city of Sorrento and the spectacular ruins of Pompeii. Laid-back GALIPOLLI in Puglia tops the list. In recent years, the town has become a popular alternative to the party hotspots of Mykonos and Sitges, near Barcelona, offering pristine beaches by day and a lively bar and club scene by night. The beach at Sant’Andrea, a national park, and Makò beach, are among the favourite places to hang out. Tuscany continues to be the most popular part of Italy for tourists, especially for those who love culture and good food. Of interest to gay travellers is, Tuscany became the first region in Italy to ban discrimination based on one’s sexuality. In the fourth and fifth centuries the nearby Tuscan city of Florence was known as Europe’s sodomy capital. Fast-forward to now and Pisa and Empoli were the first two Italian towns to recognise same-sex civil unions. TORRE DEL LAGO has been a gay mecca for almost 10 years, with one blogger on a Tuscany tourism site writing that he couldn’t believe such a gay-friendly place could exist in Italy. This stylish resort just to the south of Viareggio is

Mag 4

more casual than the older town, and has more of a gay flair. Mama Dune Beach is a very popular gay beach near Torre del Lago and is often compared to Mykonos and Sitges, the beachside town provides plenty of bars, cafe and clubs. There are two things that all gay travellers (or at least the majority in my experience) love most: sexy men and beautiful beaches. If you are one of them, then Italy is the perfect European destination for you! Italian beaches are widely popular for their Mediterranean beauty and calm waters, and they are usually filled with handsome Italian people, known for their sense of style and good looks. The following beaches combine these two Italian attributes perfectly, making them the best gay beaches in Italy: Lecciona Beach is undoubtedly the most popular gay beach in Italy. Lecciona is truly a wonder of nature. It is one of the few beaches in the country to have preserved its natural beauty, resisting mankind’s desire for development. However, despite what you read about it Lecciona is not exclusively gay but predominantly gay would be a better way of putting it. Costa dei Barbari is a magical uncrowded beach, known as the gay beach of Trieste and Venezia Giulia. Costa dei Barbari attracts a wide diversity of gay locals and travellers. It’s mainly a nudist beach, even though nudism is not mandatory. It has quiet and crystal clear waters and is an ideal place to get away from it all and soak up some Mediterranean sun. Hands down Milan is the Italian city with the most fun, intense and stylish gay life! The northern Italian city is home to an active and growing gay community, and during the annual Fashion Week apart from a variety of gay events happening in the city, Milan turns into a big gay hot spot! The city is a hub for the fashion-conscious, who after a day’s shopping head to popular nightspots including After Line disco and the famous Metro Club. Its gay clubs are extremely popular with a diverse crowd. You can also take in a little culture whilst in Milan. A visit to Teatro La Scala is essential and one cannot miss da Vinci’s


painting of the Last Supper which is in the refectory of the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie . Being the home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it’s no surprise that the city of VERONA makes it on to the list of gay destinations. While the city is not exactly considered ‘wild’, once one is done with soaking up its history and culture, there are a number of gay bars where visitors can enjoy an aperitivo, these include, Mada Café and ArtChocolate. BOLOGNA, also home to the headquarters of Arcigay, Italy’s main LGBT association, is considered to be one of the most tolerant and open-minded cities in Italy. The Cassero is the centre of the gay scene, and host of parties and festivals throughout the year.

Gay Pride in Rome

The Vatican at night

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper

Another great Italian city is VENICE Venice is a very open and gay friendly destination. There are however, a limited number of gay bars and establishments in Venice, but you’ll be able to find many bars, restaurants, and clubs that are gay friendly. As a tip, head over to Padua or Padova for some much needed gay nightlife. If you want to go a bit off the beaten track then Italy’s islands might be your preferred destination … SICILY is the largest Mediterranean island, just off the “toe” of Italy’s “boot.” It is even more religious than other parts of Italy, but that hasn’t stopped the hilltop coastal town of TAORMINA being ranked the third most gay-friendly place in Italy. Aside from the beach, Toarmina attracts visitors for its Roman and Greek ruins and is popular with couples looking to live a more original Italian experience.. Nightlife-wise, most bars and restaurants are gay-friendly as well as the hotels, especially the popular Isoco Guest House. A little further along the Sicilian coast, there is the city of CATANIA, which is overlooked by Mount Etna. The gay community is drawn to the city’s plethora of bars, restaurants and beach clubs. Sicilians have become more open-minded in recent years, even electing their first

Michelangelo’s “David” openly-gay governor, Rosario Crocetta, in 2012. Like Sicily, the island of SARDINIA is often considered to be traditionalist, but welcoming. In recent years, the gay community has flocked to the capital of Cagliari for its stunning beaches, history, culture and nightlife. Two gay beaches – Cala Mosca and Mari Pintau – can be found there and there are several gay bars, clubs and hotels. Who hasn’t dreamed of spending a holiday in one of the sexiest Mediterranean countries, with its endless natural beauty, a rich food culture and some of the sexiest people in the world? So whether you like to spend your time in the big cities, or if historical buildings, art and culture are your thing or if it’s a beach vibe that rocks your boat then look no further than Italy.

Lecciona Beach

Mag 5


Mahershala Ali was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in the category Best Performance by an actor in a Supporting Role for his work in Moonlight. He has also garnered a supporting actor nomination for the Oscar’s

MOONLIGHT Mag 6


André Holland and Trevante Rhodes in Moonlight. “Black is thrown a lifeline by the one person he’s allowed himself to be intimate with, and through André’s soulfulness, he attains a kind of freedom. Kevin is saying to his old friend, I’m not going to push you, I’m not going to force you, I’m just going to offer you this light…”

THE OSCAR NOMINATED, GOLDEN GLOBE WINNING, MOONLIGHT IS A COMMANDING GAY, BLACK COMING OF AGE DRAMA THAT SPEAKS TO EVERYONE

A

Words: Daniel Dercksen

consummate masterwork from writer-director Barry Jenkins, the not-to-be-missed Moonlight takes you on an emotional journey into the heart and soul of humanity and will live in your heart forever. An unforgettable drama at the intersection of race, sexuality, masculinity, identity, family, and love, the film arrives eight years after Jenkins’ critically acclaimed romance Medicine For Melancholy, bringing audiences a deeply felt cinematic swoon, following one young man’s tumultuous coming age in South Florida over the course of two decades. After reading Jenkins’ adaptation, producer Adele Romanski was immediately captivated by the script’s highly emotional take on coming of age under fire. Although Moonlight is set in a very specific place, its themes apply to anyone who has ever felt out of place in the world. “The script broke my heart,” Romanski shares. “Chiron’s story was something I could identify with even as a white female. A lot of people across race, gender, age, and sexuality can identify with feeling ‘other.’ While Moonlight is in essence a gay, black coming of age drama, the core of its story is the universality of its otherness.” One of the most powerful aspects of Moonlight is that it was conceived in cinematic form by a straight man working from material rooted in the personal experiences of an openly gay man, playwright Taryn Alvin McCraney, who is best known for his acclaimed trilogy The Brother/Sister Plays, which include The Brothers Size, In the Red and Brown Water, and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet. Yet the film’s sexuality is not its centerpiece or defining feature, owing to Jenkins’ penchant for subtlety and introspection over telegraphed moments or sermonizing.

Ultimately, Moonlight transcends labels and definitions, telling a universal story through one young man’s cathartic personal struggles. By coincidence Jenkins came of age in the same rough and tumble Liberty City housing projects where McCraney grew up, and where much of Moonlight the film unfolds. Jenkins and McCraney did not know each other as children but their formative years were remarkably similar. They attended the same elementary and middle schools (despite a difference in age) and both went on to become artists, treating subjects and themes close to their own experiences, including themes of identity and masculinity. Most notably, both grew up in households in which their mothers grappled with severe drug addiction. Jenkins’ mother survived her battle and has remained HIV positive for 24 years, while McCraney’s mother ultimately succumbed from AIDS as a result of her struggles. For his adaptation, Jenkins set about broadening the story’s three chapters, expanding on an adult interlude in Chiron’s life that was a mere phone call in McCraney’s source material, and giving equal shrift to three distinct eras in his young protagonist’s journey from childhood to adulthood. Ultimately, Moonlight is a universal story of love, family and reconciliation, which through its electrifying atmosphere comes to liberate anyone who has ever felt distinct or apart, or has felt trapped inside their own emotions, yearning for change. Sums up Jenkins: “This is an immersive, experiential film in which characters over time negotiate what they will allow themselves to feel. What they project back to the world with those feelings becomes the universal process of claiming one’s identity. It’s amazing to watch someone yearn for something internally but not have the courage to express it.” Moonlight is an expression of that yearning. Read more about the film: www.writingstudio.co.za Mag 7


THE BUZZ GET READY FOR FEUD on to her grudge until the very end, reportedly commenting, “You should never say bad things about the dead, only good … Joan Crawford is dead ...Good.”

T

hey were two of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

Joan Crawford and Bette Davis: fierce, defiant women who ended up embroiled in one of the most infamous rivalries in all of Hollywood history, reaching a peak when the pair finally starred opposite each other in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. It’s the backstage drama of this particular production that creator, Ryan Murphy hopes to explore in Feud, his newest drama series placing the inimitable Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon in the roles of Joan and Bette. Feud explores one of Hollywood’s most famous rivalries, one which persisted till they died. Davis supposedly held

B

The series will begin when Crawford and Davis first agree to star in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?; a production during which Davis allegedly kicked Crawford in the head, while Crawford actively campaigned against her co-star after she was nominated for an Academy Award for the film.

A

press release sent out Tuesday 7 February confirmed that Lady Gaga will be appearing on Ru Paul’s Drag Race ... she announced her participation by throwing down the gauntlet with the words: “And may the best woman win.” The press release also noted that the Drag Race premiere will “unveil a court of cut-throat Queens each competing to snatch the crown and strut away with a $100,000 cash prize and the coveted title of ‘America’s Next Drag Superstar.’” Fresh from her mind-blowing Super Bowl and Grammy appearance the star is once again riding high... The air date for the season nine premiere has not yet been announced.

Feud premieres in the USA on 5 March - as Bette Davis famously said in All About Eve: “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride”.

TRANS GIRLS RULE..

ritain’s Next Top Model is set to feature a transgender contestant for the first time ever.

The popular modelling competition returns for an 11th series next month, and is set to score a win for diversity with the inclusion of 22-year-old Talulah-Eve Brown, a beauty queen and trans rights campaigner from Birmingham.

Mag 8

Feud is, like all of Murphy’s productions, a truly starstudded affair: with Catherine ZetaJones as Olivia de Havilland, Alfred Molina as director Robert Aldrich, Judy Davis as Hedda Hopper, Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell, and Murphy regular Sarah Paulson as Geraldine Page.

GAGA IS GREAT

The aspiring model currently works as a bar supervisor and will be among the 12 girls battling it out to be crowned Britain’s next top model. Brown says her look is “instantly recognisable” and “versatile”, and that she can win the competition because “there is no one like her”. So come on girls, Manilla?, Tiara?.....

BAB’S BAR IS COMING

A

new bar for the LGBT+ community is opening in Pretoria.

Opening night of BAB’S BAR is the 18th March . BABS BAR will satisfy every gay boy’s needs with topless barmen, drink specials, DJ’s and most importantly a safe-place to party. Check out social media - Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more information...


Need a master electrician? Electrical certificates of compliance • Thermal imaging / infrared scanning of installations • Industrial / commercial / domestic and hazardous installations • Repairs, maintenance and installations • Discount for pensioners NO JOB TOO BIG OR TOO SMALL 24-HOUR SERVICE

SWISS INGENUITY.

SOUTH AFRICAN PRIDE.

021 424 4588

www.schmidhauser.co.za Mag 9


ICON

George Michael 1963 – 2016

FAREWELL TO A GAY SUPERSTAR

It was a huge shock to hear on Christmas day that gay pop icon George Michael had passed away … not only was he a supremely talented songwriter and performer, he was generous and kind and he was an icon to gay men and women the world over ….

G

eorge Michael’s death came at the end of a year that saw the passing of several music superstars, including David Bowie, Prince and Leonard Cohen. But what set him aside from these artists was that he was a kind, generous, unselfish gay man, who once “outed” openly supported gay causes, voluntarily attended and supported gay pride, and wrote music from his heart. He was the ultimate gay man, good looking, had a great sense of humour, seemed fun to be with, supported the community, he embraced his sexuality and in that sense was a great role model for younger people. Of course like any of us, he wasn’t perfect and had his share of trouble in some cases with the law, he had broken relationships, took drugs sending time in rehab, but despite these faults, by all accounts his heart was in the right place… Mag 10

George’s real name Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou and together with a school mate Andrew Ridgely formed the band WHAM which in the 1980’s had several super-hits making the good looking, coiffured George a superstar. Anyone who’s gaydar was barely working could see that the camp young singer belting out “Wake me up before you go go …” was one of us and destined to become a huge success. The music video at the time had George prancing around in the smallest of shorts, tossing his hair – he was camp! Whilst some critics maintain that “Michael’s gayness was coded, private, and concealed.”, I didn’t think so. I watched several interviews during his career and once he’d “come out”, he never shied away from gay issues, his own gay experiences, including the toilet arrest, and was always supportive of the gay community. He had a take it or leave it kind of atti-

tude which as a contemporary made me proud to be gay. He said in an interview with Michael Parkinson that he knew from a fairly young age that he was bisexual and had and experiences “on both sides of the fence,” but it was when he fell in love for the first time and it was with a man that he discovered his true sexuality and realised that he in fact was gay. He said that he never consciously tried to hide the fact that he was gay, except perhaps for the early days of Wham. He never believed that coming out would result in a loss of audience – it was mare to do with privacy.. In a Rolling Stone profile a decade earlier, Michael addressed the persistent gay rumours, or so readers thought: “I’ve always thought that people speculated so much because I was so quiet about my private life. ... What bugs me is that rumour is always accepted as fact.” In 2011 George tweeted: I HAVE NEVER AND WILL NEVER APOLOGISE FOR


MY SEX LIFE ! GAY SEX IS NATURAL, GAY SEX IS GOOD! NOT EVERYBODY DOES IT, BUT.....HA HA! As with most artists breaking in to the music scene he didn’t talk about his sexuality until he’d been “outed” years later but when he was famously arrested cruising a public toilet in Will Rogers Park in Beverley Hills, he responded by releasing his next single Outside, which addressed his penchant for exhibitionist sex, and which lampooned the experience. The video showed Michael dressed as a police officer and showed toilet scenes and arrests. Some wish to neuter or whitewash Michael’s sexual activities that brought his orientation to the fore. But he was never ashamed of them, nor should he have been. Cruising has been a part of the gay community for as long as publicly living our lives has been criminally punishable. And as a man who came of age in the early ’80s, decades before gay hookup apps like Grindr, Michael had to swivel his hips in public in hopes of catching the eye of a sexual partner. Interviewed soon after, he said that he considered that he had been entrapped in that the policeman wasn’t bad looking … “not Columbo” as he put it in a 1998, implying that he wouldn’t have looked sideways at an unattractive bloke. In an interview with David Letterman in 1998… he was adamant that the policeman had entrapped him and that the entire experience was a set up. Michael’s first gay relationship wasn’t until 1991, he was in Brazil where he met Anselmo Feleppa but the relationship was short-lived as Feleppa had AIDS. He died two years later, but this was a turning point, from now on he wrote songs about his life as a gay man. Sometimes not using the unnecessary pronouns. After Anselmo’s death, Michael fell in to depression and at was during this time that he came out to his parents. A few years later his mother, whom he was very close to died, so it was a good five years that he was in mourning. He wrote the song Jesus to a Child. The song written some two years after Feleppa’s passing, was clearly about how quickly he had been taken from him: “Heaven sent and heaven stole” and “Just when it began / He took your love away.” One of the most significant relationships in George Michael’s life was American art dealer Kenny Goss. In a moving interview in 2004 with GQ, Michael said of Goss: “My biggest problem in life is fear of more loss. I fear Kenny’s death far more than my own. I don’t want to outlive him. I’d rather have a short life and not have to go through being torn apart

again.” However, the couple had an open relationship which George discussed at length in the interview saying, “Some gay men manage monogamy forever, and I envy them because it’s a great thing,” he told GQ. “But when you first meet someone, that chemical flows through your body and says ‘f-ck, f-ck, f-ck!’ it’s wondrous. If you can keep hold of that, great. But for me to experience that again in a relationship, I’d have to split with Kenny.” On the opening night of his Symphonica tour in 2011, he admitted: “In truth Kenny and I haven’t been together for two and a half years.“I love him very much. This man has brought me a lot of joy and pain.

video. It was a black screen with the lyrics in white. He clearly wanted his fans to see and understand his message.

Michael spent 13 years with the Texan, the longest of any of his partnerships. He is considered one of the legendary singer’s few great loves.

The 1980’s was the era of Aids, which was often dubbed “the gay plague”. Gay men were blamed for the deadly virus. Public attitudes became much more homophobic. Gay-bashings and murders rocketed. It was a fearful period to be gay, let alone a gay public figure, whilst George hadn’t come out at this stage he was financially supporting an AIDS research charity, the Red Hot Foundation.

At the time of his death, Michael was dating the Australian-born hairstylist and freelance photographer, Fadi Fawaz. The next big love of his life Fawaz and Michael had been dating since at least 2012, when they were photographed walking together on European streets holding hands. It was Fawaz who on arriving at George’s house to pick him up on Christmas Day discovered that the icon had passed away. Legendary British singer and performer, Sir Elton John, on hearing of George’s passing tweeted: I am in deep shock. I have lost a beloved friend - the kindest, most generous soul and a brilliant artist. My heart goes out to his family, friends and all of his fans. A few days later on December 28th he paid an emotional tribute to George Michael by giving a touching performance in Las Vegas of the pairs duet Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me. Elton told the crowd, “George Michael passed away which was one of the saddest moments of my career because I had known George more of less from the start of Wham! and got to know him very well, played with him, recorded with him, and it was the most awful news because he was on the road back, supposedly to good health,” continuing, he added, “But more than anything as a human being he was one of the kindest, sweetest, most generous people I’ve ever met.” Apart from his obvious success as a singer / songwriter and performer, George Michael also had an acute awareness of those less privileged. Peter Tatchell in a tribute to him said, “George had a social conscience, did message music and raised lots of money for good causes.” He continued, “His 1990 record Praying for Time was a hauntingly beautiful, albeit despairing, critique of poverty and injustice. He did not appear in the official

He was also vocal in his opposition of the Iraq War. His 2002 Shoot the Dog track was a savage satire on George W Bush and Tony Blair and his song The Grave a year later was a lament about the wasted young lives lost in war, deliberately timed to coincide with what he regarded as the allies’ unjustified, illegitimate intervention in Iraq. Shoot the Dog was a brave move that lost George fans in gung-ho patriotic America. But he stuck to his principles and showed his critics that he wasn’t a mindless, hedonistic pop heartthrob.

Childline founder Esther Rantzen said “Michael gave royalties from his 1996 hit Jesus To A Child to the charity along with many other donations. Over the years he gave us millions.” He also gave numerous hefty donations to the Terrence Higgins Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support, he set up a Trust which gave grants to work supporting rights of disabled children and adults and worked anonymously at a homeless shelter asking other staff not to make it public. He gave the proceeds from Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me to Aids hospice London Lighthouse and the Rainbow Trust children’s charity.. And he apparently kept more of his random charitable acts hidden too. There are lots. Peter Tatchell concluded his tribute with these words: “George Michael’s legacy is that of a supremely talented performer, an opponent of injustice and a charitable humanitarian. His music will live on for decades and continue to bring enjoyment and inspiration to millions. Bravo!”.  From his sex-positive attitude to throwing himself into visible HIV activism long before it was a mainstream, Michael lived his life honestly. With Michael’s passing, he’s left a legacy of powerful pop music, the British pop singer sold over 100 million albums and had many chart-topping hits, including Careless Whisper, Faith, Outside, Jesus To A Child and Father Figure. Loved by both his friends, fans and fellow artists his passing has shocked the world. R.I.P. George You will be Missed by So Many, So Real, So Honest, So Generous and So Creative. Mag 11


FASHION

2017 LEXUS SA M Great sweaters were all the rage by TSEPO TSOTETSI

Photographer / SDR Photo. Mag 12


MENSWEAR WEEK Eye-catching coats from NGUNI SHADES

Photographer / SDR Photo. Mag 20

Mag 13


FASHION NAKED APE featured fabulous coats and this poncho

2017 LEXUS SA M

Photographer / SDR Photo. Mag 14


African themes dominated Nicholas Coutts collection

MENSWEAR WEEK

Photographer / SDR Photo. Mag 15


PRIDE IS OUR DUTY This article was written by Steve Taylor, a Pride organiser and LGBT+ activist in the UK, for the Huffington Post, UK. It has been altered slightly to fit into a South African context but most importantly everything he says is relevant for all the reasons to support PRIDE wherever or whomever you are ....

A

s the LGBT+ community prepares to celebrate Pride in Cape Town, I can hear our detractors already: isn’t it time ‘they’ stopped going on about it? Why do they have to ram it down our throats? Why isn’t there a straight pride?

After all, ‘we’ can adopt children, get married, have sex at the same age as heterosexuals, and join the armed forces. And we can’t be fired for our sexuality. So, job done. Let’s put the sequins away, stop ramming things down people’s throats, and get on with life. Yes? No. Because anti-LGBT+ hate crime is on the increase both in the UK and here in South Africa, including in the supposedly accepting major cities. If you’re bisexual, you’ll face daily derision and abuse for being ‘greedy’ or ‘confused’. Same-sex marriage is illegal in the entire continent of Africa except here. Various surveys report a huge majority of LGBT+ young people experiencing bullying at school. LGBT+ people are far more likely to have mental health conditions. Two-thirds of LGBT+ people say there’s a problem with homophobia in sport. Things are no better internationally. Almost half of the world’s population - 45%, or 3.7 billion people - live in the 76 countries where homosexual acts are illegal. That’s more than four times the population of Europe. And 649 million people live in countries where homosexual acts can and do lead to the death penalty. With a population of 52.98 million (2013) - That’s more than ten times the population of South Africa live in countries where being LGBT+ can attract the death penalty and more than five times that number live in countries where it’s illegal - this is the reason why Pride still exists. So Pride is also a show of solidarity for the billions of people who cannot live their lives freely, sticking two fingers up to the 70-odd countries who oppress them. As many as three million people are expected to descend on Madrid in June for World Pride, only the third time this major international event has taken place in Europe. Worldwide, according to Pride Radar, there are more than 950 Pride events, with many more being added each year. Of course, most of these are in countries where LGBT+ equality is much advanced, but that doesn’t stop activists in cities like Kampala, Uganda, from courageously pressing ahead with Pride events. Here in South Africa, homophobia is alive and thriving. Many readers may have read on Mambaonline the article about the Brazilian couple who were subjected to a homophobic rant at Camps Bay beach recently. There is the on going terror of our black lesbian sisters who are still being attacked and raped so that they might be cured of their lesbianism. Over the border a rabid Robert Mugabe still insists on degrading same sex Mag 16

couples, likening gay men to animals. Not so long ago a young coloured man was murdered and his body defiled by a gang of homophobic haters. The homophobic pastor, Steven Anderson who was banned from visiting this country has successfully opened a church with Reverend Oscar Bougardt right here in Cape Town! The homophobic list goes on and on ... For me, that’s what Pride’s about. In 2015, I attended Pride in Riga, Latvia, where the streets were lined with homophobes but their numbers were exceeded by deeply threatening and unwelcoming riot police. Later this month, with my colleagues from the board of the European Pride Organisers Association, we’ll meet LGBT+ activists in the Balkans to discuss how we can support their Pride events. And with rising intolerance in Kenya, it is important that we sustain a dialogue around sexual diversity and LGBT+ rights. For many people, Pride is an excuse for a massive party. And there’s nothing wrong with that; Pride doesn’t belong to any one of us and we can all make it what we want it to be. But as the ascendant far right makes the world a less accepting and tolerant place, the importance of Pride can’t be understated. To people in Uganda, nervously reading LGBT+ news online, the significance of seeing 30,000 people march past the Ugandan embassy in Trafalgar Square cannot be understated. And that’s the same as for a teenager in their bedroom somewhere, reading about Pride on their smartphone and finding it gives them the confidence, the sense of freedom and liberty, to be able to tell their friends that they’re L, G, B, T or something else. So whether you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or one of the many sexualities and gender identities unhelpfully lumped under the ‘+’ symbol, you should come to Pride in 2017. Come to celebrate, and to party. Come to show support for the millions of young people unsure of their sexuality. Come to support the hundreds of campaigning organisations and charities in the parades and running stalls. Come to show solidarity with the billions of people worldwide who don’t enjoy the freedoms you do. And if you’re straight, you should come too. Come to support your colleagues, friends, your children and wider family. Come to show you’re not homophobic; in today’s society that’s once again something to celebrate, after all. But above all, come because you can. Come to show that there’s no need for straight pride because Pride is your Pride. All should come to say that, 23 years on, we recognise there has been huge progress but we can’t exist in isolation and we all have a responsibility to everyone, everywhere. In fact, you know what? You don’t have a choice to come to Pride this year. You have a duty.


PROUD TO SHARE A MOMENT, NOT THE VIRUS. JOIN YOUR PARTNER IN GETTING A QUICK, FREE HIV TEST AND PLAY YOUR PART IN AN AIDS-FREE FUTURE. GO TO WWW.HEALTH4MEN.CO.ZA/MAP TO FIND YOUR NEAREST CLINIC.

Mag 17


INTERVIEW

L

atheem is well-known in the Cape Town area having been raised in Mitchell’s Plein.

Music has been a passion as far back as Latheem can remember. Coming from a very creative family, his grandfather sang on radio “back in the days” and both his father and mother were musical. However, whilst he was encouraged to pursue his music, his family did not encourage him to take it up as a career preferring him to “get a real job” as his mother put it with music as a hobby rather. But Latheem had other ideas and after studying music at school, learning the guitar, violin as well as trying out cello and viola, singing in a choir, school plays and productions, Latheem knew that music was his first love and an integral part of who he is. Do you write your own music and lyrics? Yes … sort of. Regarding the music: I get the basics down and then hand it over to my producer, a very talented musician, Ibrahim Mallum, who tweeks it, adds to it and comes up with the final sound. He is brilliant and I am indebted to him for his help, advice and assistance. After leaving school, Latheem got involved in charity work and activism. He joined The Inner Circle, a local organisation in Cape Town which works with LGBTI Muslims. Whilst with The Inner Circle he co-directed and wrote the documentary Fitrah which spotlighted issues faced by queer Muslims. How was the documentary received by the Muslim community generally? It wasn’t generally well received locally, but it was a challenge and was impactful because it got people discussing LGBT issues. It was screened in South Africa and in other countries so the exposure was tremendous. How are gay Muslims accepted in South Africa within their own communities? There seems to be a provincial influence with acceptance of gay people. I lived in Johannesburg for a while and Cape Town is a lot more laid-back and tacitly accepting. Coming out to your family, how was that experience? Well, my family knew who and what I was so it wasn’t difficult at all. I am talking about my immediate family. I have a large extended family and I’m sure some of them may have issues … I didn’t get a huge negative reaction. My immediate family have been supportive and their acceptance has made things easier. Being openly gay, do you think this will have an effect on your audience? No, I don’t think so. When you hear a song that affects you, the sexuality of the singer won’t make a difference. Music after all is for all people and I sing about the normal themes of heartbreak, love, joy etc. Being gay has did not affect me receiving bookings and gigs, I am not boxed as a “gay performer” and I don’t want to be. My music is for everyone whatever your gender identity. I find that people buy into the song or music and not the sexual orientation of the artist. Have you performed to LGBT audiences yet? Oh definitely, at Bubbles Bar and Crew in Cape Town with Roxy and friends, but whilst I love performing to gay audiences to Mag 18

make them my sole niche is very restrictive. I started my career with gay audiences for which I am very grateful, but like any artist I don’t want to be pigeon-holed. I also appeared at Glitterfest last year which was a great experience. Have you entered shows such as Idols etc? Oh yes, Idols, SA’s Got Talent, you name it. How do you view these shows? Well, they all about ratings and not about the artist, so after trying out I have decided they are not for me. They can crush dreams; the shows are about the TV audience and not about the artists. I’ve met participants who are good and do have talent have their hopes of being a singer totally destroyed for ratings. When did you decide to make a career as a performer? After my father passed away I made the decision to make music my career. He would have supported me and in his heart it’s what he wanted me to do. For everyone coming out is a difficult experience. Do you have any advice for young people struggling with it, especially those in the Muslim community? While I believe it is mentally and spiritually healthier to be open about who you are it’s not always possible depending on the individual’s context or economic situation. Many people fear coming out because they might be dependent on their families and fear a backlash. There are organisations like The Inner Circle who can advise and give you perspective as far as religious issues are concerned but at the end of the day you have to go back to your family and community so their acceptance is important. There are a few progressive Mosques in Cape Town and The Inner Circle have their own Mosque on Fridays where people are welcome regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. About your music. Are you working on producing an album? Yes, by time the magazine comes out I will have already launched the 5-track EP, and I should have an album out by the middle of the year. I have also completed a music video of the single “Mr Walk Of Shame” which I am ecstatic about. At the age of 16 I wrote my first song, which is also on the EP. Who have been your biggest musical influences? I love the vibe of Alanis Morisette. I love the rawness of her music … it is edgy, authentic and out there. I’d describe my music as being in the alternative genre. What inspires your song writing? My musical point of view stems from my personal experiences, my human rights activism and the changing social and political landscape we live in. I read that you performed with Nakhane Toure? Well I didn’t perform with him but I shared a stage with him at an event. I also went to Sweden a couple of years ago and got invited to perform for the Mayor of Stockholm at the time. Sharing the same stage with Nakhane was a great experience; It was without doubt one of the highlights of my career so far. What is your dream for the future? I would love to be nominated for a SAMA award. Imagine that!


OUT Africa Magazine met with Latheem Gabriel, a young upcoming singer/songwriter who is proudly and openly gay and making his mark on South Africa’s entertainment scene. Latheem is a gentle, lovely man who seems to know want he wants. He is clearly hugely talented and will be performing as a headline act at this year’s Cape Town Gay Pride Mardi Gras.

GETTING TO KNOW

LATHEEM GABRIEL

Mag 19


CAPE TOWN

2017

TIME: 8pm ENTRANCE R60 BOOK AT QUICKET www.quicket.com

TIME: 8pm ENTRANCE R60 BOOK AT QUICKET TIME: 8pmwww.quicket.com TIME: 8pm R60 ENTRANCE ENTRANCE R60 KET K AT QUICKET BOOK AT QUICBOO m : 8pm et.co m quick TIME www.quicket.cowww. TIME: 8pm ENTRANCE R60 ENTRANCE R60 BOOK AT QUICKET TIME: 8pm BOOK AT QUICKET www.quicket.com ENTRANCE R60 www.quicket.com BOOK AT QUICKET www.quicket.com 8pm : TIME ENTRANCE R60 BOOK AT QUICKET www.quicket.com

THURS 2nd MARCH

THURS 2nd THURSTHURS MARCH 2nd 2nd THURS ARCHMAR H THUM RS 2nC d 2nd MARCH THURS MARCH 2nd MARCH THURS 2nd MARCH

EX TR @ C AVAGANZA!!! R EW B R

A EX Presents T EX EX @ RAVA ! T TRA CRE GANZ! A!! ! ! EX @ RAE@VXA ! ! V W ! ANG ANBZAAR !! REAAEV TR CR @CTRG X!TZ!G entsA !AAA Pres W @E C AVAEGW B R RVNZA! B C A R A Z NRE@ A !! W XTRPresEents ents Pres CBRAERAGANZA! W B AR R A ! W ents @entsALCPRIDEVAPres B AR A!! PresNU THE AN REWGANZPresents B AR 157-896 NPO

TIME: 8pm ENTRANCE R30

ALL VENUES: BAR, AMSTERDAM 21 BEAULAH’S, ZERO 157-896 NPO & CREW rge Note R20 surcha Crew

157-896 NPO

at

157-896 NPO

157-896 NPO

157-896 NPO

157-896 NPO

157-896 NPO

Presents

FRIDAY 24th FEBRUARY

157-896 NPO

Presents

FRIDAY 24th FEBRUARY

SATURDAY 25th FEBRUARY

PINK PARTY AT ALL THE GAY VENUES

T@ LADIES NIGH ’S H LA BEAU TICKETS: R50

Doors open 8pm Entrance: R30 (gets you into all venues)

MEN’S NIGHT OP AT THE ROOFT ’S H LA AT BEAU TICKETS: R50 AT THE POOL PARTY OP AT FT O DECK RO TER AR U Q THE CAPE m 7p m 1p TIME: 50 R1 s: et Tick

SUNDAY 26th FEBRUARY ICE CHURCH SERV MCC AT GOODHOPE T SQ GREEN MARKE TIME: 6:00pm PRIDE SHOW AT ZER021 O FR M 10:00pm NK A HUGE THA LL A TO U YO RS OUR SPONSO

C CENTRE SEA POINT CIVI 0 ENTRANCE: R8 Y MR & MISS GA m 8p TIME: NT AT PRIDE PAGEA

MONDAY 27th FEBRUARY AT BOOK NIGHT R BA ’S ER D ALEXAN AT 6:30/7:00pm

W MEET THE EKO OF R O TH AU R DUKE MADE THE GOD WHO MISTAKES GET YOUR NE TICKETS ONLI AT: o.za ui www.q cket.c


PU SE LL O CT U IO T N

CALENDAR OF

2017 For tickets go to www.quicket.co.za

CAPE TOWN

1 MARCH

TUESDAY 28th FEBRUART Y MOVIE NIGH AR WATCH THE OSC ED AT NOMIN “MOONLIGHT” TRE AT LABIA THEA pm 30 AT 8: Entrance: R60

WEDNESDAY 1st MARCH KE PRIDE KARAO AT R AMSTERDAM BA pm 00 8: FROM FREE

THURSDAY 2nd MARCH DIVA’S ZA EXTRAVAGAN R BA EW CR AT (UPSTAIRS) AT 8:00pm

FRIDAY 3rd MARCH BEACH PICNIC BEACH AT CLIFTON 3rd pm 00 TIME: 6: NIGHT POETRY & ART IRS TA PS AT THE U ET RE ST 103A BREE m 0p :0 /8 TIME: 7:30 0 R2

SATURDAY 4th MARCH

E PRIDE PARAD OON N 0 :0 12 STARTS AT M IU AT STAD PARKING P4 BE A PART OF THE BIGGEST E IN PRIDE PARAD ! A IC AFR GRAS PRIDE MARDI ELD, FI AM AT REDD T IN PO GREEN 0 R5 : CE ENTRAN 00 H 20 0 :0 From: 13 UR CELEBRATE YO TY TI EN ID AM I AM WHAT I DJ’s, T, EN M N ENTERTAI ALLS BARS, FOOD ST E!!! M O LC E ALL W


SCENE OUT MCQP - THE MUSICAL

Mag 22


ABSA PARTICIPATES IN CAPE TOWN PRIDE GO

S F

ollowing Absa’s successful gathering at Johannesburg and Pretoria Pride over the last two years and in the company’s ongoing effort to be a truly diverse and inclusive organisation, Absa has decided to support the LGBTI community by participating in Cape Town Pride on 4 March this year. Absa’s vision is to drive lesbian, gay and transgender (LGBT) inclusion in the company to become the bank of choice for colleagues, customers and clients. Absa is an inclusive employee network open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is a bank that welcomes and values all customers and clients on an individual basis, irrespective of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Absa demonstrated its commitment to being fair and inclusive by establishing Spectrum, a diversity network which is open to all colleagues who are interested in the LGBTI community. Spectrum’s focus is on supporting LGBTI people within the company so that they can make a valuable contribution to the overall success of the organisation. Absa has one of the largest affinity groups in Africa with a membership of close to 800 people that includes the LGBTIQ community and ally’s within the organization. Absa’s LGBTI colleagues and Straight Allies will be joining in the celebration and fun of Cape Town Pride on 4 March.

ave the date for a fabulous pink night out on 7th April at 8pm at the Artscape Opera House. Crew Bar, Beefcakes, Amsterdam Bar and Beulah Bar are offering Queens (and Kings) a fabulous night out beginning with a journey to the heart of fabulousness with Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, the gayest world famous musical followed by an after party at the De Waterkant Gay Village where free shooters and 50% discount on the cover charge are on offer at participating bars, subject to presentation of your Priscilla musical show ticket. Don’t miss this one night only evening of sparkle and “insanely glitzy entertainment.” Priscilla Queen of the Desert, based on the Oscar-winning hit film is a dazzling adult musical, featuring a top notch all South African cast dressed the most outrageous yet glamorous costumes set to music that will have you dancing in your seat and a funny yet touching storyline. This heart-warming and uplifting tale of three drag artist friends who hop aboard a battered old bus aka “Priscilla” and go off on the adventure of a lifetime through the Australian Outback. On the way they find friendship, love and far more than they ever dreamed of. With a dazzling array of over 500 award-winning costumes, 200 extraordinary head-dresses, 23 tons of scenery, a 10m customized bus weighing 6 tons and a hit parade of dance floor favourites including I Will Survive, Hot Stuff, Finally, Boogie Wonderland, Go West, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and I Love The Nightlife, this wildly fresh and funny musical is a journey to the heart of FABULOUS! Put on your best frock, grab your glitzy heels, its time for a fun night out. You are welcome to dress up in drag or any fabulous outfit that takes your fancy; at least consider a colourful hat, feathers or fancy glasses. Prizes will be awarded for the best dressed, the most fabulous and most outrageous outfits, to mention just a few. Early bird show ticket prices are discounted to R460 of which a percentage will be donated to Pride Shelter Trust. Get fabulous, book now for the best seats in the house. One night only and tickets are limited, so call Frank Kosi on 071 119 6622 to secure your booking. Mag 23


EVH PINK AWARDS

Mag 24


BEN WEI LAUNCH PARTY Bredine Kruger Photographer

Dave Nel

Gavin Reid and Frans du Plessis

Jim Dai & Ian McMahon

Mark Wright & Maciek De Waal-Dubla

Garth Psaradelis, Ian McMahon, Maciek De Waal-Dubla, Frans du Plessis

Jim Dai

SEEN AT KIKI’S

Mag 25


LET’S TALK ABOUT IT: FROM WHATSAPP MOCKLISTS TO GLOBAL POLITICS We all have views!!!

I

t has certainly been a while since the last time I wrote a piece. A lot has indeed happened since then. On a personal note, I changed jobs from being Projects Officer at the Gender Equity Unit (University of the Western Cape) to now being the National Advocacy Officer for transgender human rights at Gender DynamiX. This has been quite a change in context and tends to influence the content of my column. In the past, my column predominantly focussed on my experiences as queer student and staff member at a university as well as my experiences as Miss Gay Western Cape. These experiences have all been compiled in a book entitled “A Darling’s Journey to Liberty” which was published in 2016. The publishing of the book was indeed very therapeutic, bringing me to a space of being more content with who I am. Fittingly, it is now time to shift my focus from being inward-turning to outward facing. This therefore means that the angle of my column will necessarily also shift from myself and my personal experiences to other queer bodies and their (your) experiences. This column will thus become a space through which you will be able to engage on topics of your choice. These can include just about anything from the fun and frivolous to the serious and political. From wanting more information around LGBTIAQ+ rights to seeking advice and guidance on how to obtain relevant services geared towards LGBTIAQ+ health and overall wellness. It is a space through which we seek to keep up with all that is happening around us. So feel free to share your views, opinions and concerns whatever these may be. We live in a world and country where things change in the blink of an eye. After 43 years the United Kingdom decided by Mag 26

referendum to exit the European Union. Caught off guard, many of us were indeed surprised with the election of Donald Trump, the 45th president of the United States of America. To this, the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation also decided to abstain from voting on the creation of an Independent Human Rights Expert on sexual orientation and gender identity at United Nations (international) level. Subsequently, in contrast to its earlier position and in opposition to the African Group, South Africa voted in favour on the appointment of the Independent Expert. This all took place whilst closer to home the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development was busy finalising the Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill criminalising offences committed based on a person’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity, amongst various other grounds. On face value many of these issues concerning other countries (foreign affairs) and the international arena may not appear as if they directly affect us as LGBTIAQ+ (Queer) people in South Africa. But I believe that everything is connected to everything. It is just a matter of trying to understand how it affect and impact us. As ordinary citizens we have a duty to understand these in order to respond adequately and effectively. A great example of us understanding our issues and collectively working to challenge stakeholders was presented with the pastor Anderson case. It was a momentous moment when in 2016 the Department of Home Affairs rallied behind the LGBTIAQ+ (Queer) banner to prevent this American pastor from entering our country with the aim of spreading prejudice and hatred. It was also encouraging noting that the private sector opted to support constitutionalism as opposed to religious fundamentalism and the advocacy of

hatred and direct/indirect incitement of violence on LGBTIAQ+ people. We live in a country in which black lesbian women and transwomen continue to be on the receiving end of brutal violence. Patriarchy, toxic masculinities and whiteness continue to occupy positions of privilege with many black people ironically happily supporting and striving for inclusion in these systems of power. I don’t and can’t necessarily blame us. It is tough trying to assert identities and expressions that is queer, of womanhood, femininity and blackness in contexts (home, work and recreational establishments etc) that have been designed to reject these and render them weak and disposable. However, collectively we need to push back against marginalisation and oppression as best we can! Looking at the above, indeed we have a lot to talk and write about. Hopefully, the new angle of the column (this platform) can serve as a means to address some of the many issues we are faced with. I look forward to our engagements. Forward your questions, views, opinions and thoughts to glenton.matthyse@gmail.com or inbox me on facebook at Liberty Banks for consideration and inclusion in the column. Much Love & Light, Liberty (Glenton Matthyse)


M&CSAATCHI ABEL/16726/E

Not for Sale to Persons Under the Age of 18. Drink Responsibly.


DOES RELIGION CONDEMN HOMOSEXUALITY? Words: Michael Bronski - Religion Dispatches - USC Annenberg

Religions are richly variable in their organisations, belief systems, rituals, and practices. This is true across cultures and history. Grand statements about what “all religions” say or believe about anything - especially about such a complex phenomenon as human desire and sexuality - are not just unhelpful, they’re impossible.

N

onetheless, this has not prevented many Christian opponents of homosexuality from asserting that all religions condemn homosexuality. This assertion is patently false; it is not even the case that all Christianities condemn homosexuality. The myth that all religions condemn homosexuality passes off one strand of Christian interpretation as a universal moral claim about what “all religions” and “all religious people” believe. In fact, what religions have to say about homosexuality varies considerably not just among religions, but within religions, too. Religions are internally diverse. Although we are used to referring to Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, or Buddhism in the singular, we could more accurately refer to these dynamic ways of organising human relationships in the plural: as Christianities, Hinduisms, Judaisms, Islams, Buddhisms. This shift from singular to plural may sound odd, but is helpful when it reminds us that no religion is monolithic. What any religion means in the lives of its practitioners changes across historical periods, geographical locations, and in relation to other social forces. We can see this clearly in the case of Hinduism’s complex and changing attitudes toward homosexuality. Same-sex attachments and desire were both known and generally tolerated in ancient and medieval India, as reflected in such sacred texts as the Kama Sutra and Krittivasa Ramayana. It was not until India came under British colonial rule—with its Christian assumptions about sex—that Section 377, the first Indian law banning “carnal intercourse against the order of nature,” was passed, in 1860. The efforts of modern-day Indian activists—both Hindu and non-Hindu—for sexual rights finally led to the overturning of Section 377, in 2009. A religion is not practiced in a vacuum. It lives and breathes through individuals and the communities they build in particular times and places. This living, breathing religion does not stand apart from larger political struggles, but is embedded Mag 28

in them in complicated ways, as the above history of Hinduism and homosexuality shows. Value judgments—what we might also call morality—are not monopolised by religion. You do not have to be religious to live morally. All people are capable of making value judgments and acting in relation to others in accord with deeply held ethical principles—and they do, in big and small ways every day. But in the United States, due to the historical importance of Christian thinking, there is a strong tendency to conflate religion and values. Many Americans believe that the only way to have values and be moral is to be religious, and then, only in a Christian way. This is not how the terms “morality” or “values” are being used here, however. Buddhism offers an important counter to the usual ways of framing this issue as a matter of the morality of heterosexuality versus the immorality of homosexuality. In both branches of Buddhism, Theravada and Mahayana (which houses both Zen and Tibetan schools), the key distinction is not between good heterosexuality and bad homosexuality, but between celibacy and sexuality. Celibacy is the religious ideal, but Buddhism recognizes that very few people can achieve it. For laypersons, the goal is to avoid sexual misconduct. Buddhist rejections of same-sex desire and sexual activity are relatively rare, but, where they do occur, they must be understood as part of a more general suspicion of any expression of carnal desire. More generally, Buddhist moral appraisal of homosexuality varies with its host cultures. In places that are more accepting of homosexuality and gender variance, same-sex desire is more likely to be seen as a permissible and potentially correct conduct. When a religion does condemn homosexuality, what is it condemning? Is it same-sex sexual acts and, if so, which ones? Or is it homosexual identity? Or both? Consider what the Bible has to say about homosexuality. The short answer is: not much. The longer answer requires understanding that sacred texts are given meaning through interpretation; these


interpretations change over time and can also vary within any particular period. The Hebrew Bible—what Christians call the Old Testament—does mention and condemn same-sex sexual behaviour, but only three times, twice in Leviticus (18:22 and 20:13) and once in Genesis (19:1–11), in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the New Testament, homosexual acts might be mentioned, depending on the interpretation, in Paul’s letter to the Romans condemning men’s “shameless” sexual acts with each other (just which acts are not named) and in his condemnation of women’s “unnatural” sexual acts (1:26–27). Biblical and Talmudic scholars, as well as historians specialising in the study of pre-modern Christianity, have convincingly argued that these passages do not condemn homosexuality as we think of it today. The Hebrew Bible and the New Testament had no concept of homosexuality as a personal identity. These few Biblical passages focused on sexual behaviour. Scholars have worked hard to determine what these passages and their exact words meant in their day, and for ours. Some of the results are surprising. What are these passages so worried about if it is not the idea of a homosexual person or a personal identity? Contemporary scholars argue that the moral transgression of Sodom was not male-male sexual relations, but the gross abuse of guests. The men of Sodom came to Lot’s door and demanded that he hand over his two male houseguests (angels in disguise) so they could forcibly “know” them. In Biblical language, “know” means to have sex with. So the Sodom story is about the threat of rape and the violation of laws of hospitality to strangers—a very important issue for a nomadic people. Lot is also an honoured figure in Islam’s holy book, the Quran, where the story of Lot’s people and the destruction of Sodom appears five times. Islamic commentaries from the medieval period show a diversity of scholarly and legal views about the precise “sin” of Sodom, although the interpretation that became dominant identifies it with male-male anal sex. Under Sharia, or Islamic law, same-sex sexual acts were early on condemned, especially anal sex between men. But Islamic jurists have disagreed both historically and today as to what the proper penalty for male homosexual acts should be. Historically, sex between women seems to have attracted far less commentary by either medieval or contemporary jurists, and little in the way of mandated penalties. In the twentieth century, various Islamic revivalist movements, particularly within Sunni Islam, seeking to be traditional or authentic have tended to call for the death penalty for male homosexual acts. They claim this is the Islamic position. This obscures historical as well as contemporary differences of interpretation within Islam and across very different Muslim-majority countries. Still, the death penalty is on the books (if rarely meted out) as a possible punishment for male homosexuality in several countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia. In early 2012, a Shiite militia group in Iraq—where homosexuality is not illegal—tortured and murdered more than forty men thought to be homosexual. The murders were denounced by Iraqi human rights groups as well as by international LGBT activists. The Iraqi government did not condemn or even address the murders. All this may seem shocking, but, sadly, the criminalisation and severe legal punishment of homosexuality are hardly unique to countries that follow Islamic law. In contemporary Uganda, legislators influenced by the most conservative versions of evangelical Christianity, especially versions imported from the United States, have been debating making homosexual sex a capital crime. (Homo-sexual acts are already against the law in Uganda.) And Russia’s government, looking to shore up its popularity, increasingly embraces the antigay theology of the

Russian Orthodox Church by cracking down on LGBT people, especially activists. In recent years, the interpretation of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as a condemnation of rape and inhospitality has been taken up by contemporary LGBT Muslim groups, such as Toronto-based Salaam and US-based Al-Fatiha, and by a growing number of Muslim scholars in order to push back against the most conservative Islamic voices and open a space for Muslim gender and sexual minorities. The Internet also provides a vital resource for LGBT Muslims seeking to develop and put forward their own religious perspectives about samesex desires and identities. Where Leviticus is concerned, only anal sex between men is explicitly condemned. Notably, the Hebrew Bible is completely silent on the question of lesbianism. Talmudic scholar Daniel Boyarin suggests that Leviticus’s prohibition on male-male anal intercourse actually concerns a “mixing of kinds.” A man who lets himself be penetrated by another man takes the subordinate position assigned to women. In so doing, he violates rules of manhood, “mixing” or confusing his proper status. Leviticus’s prohibition, then, like the story of Sodom, warns against the transgression of social codes that ensure an ordered society. Being penetrated by another man, or raping two male houseguests, is a metaphor for disorder and the neglect of social constraint. Such a scenario may seem extreme for the lesson it imparts, but that is how allegories teach us moral lessons. Historically, the most frequently cited scriptural passages in all three Abrahamic traditions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—provide little convincing evidence to justify legal or social discrimination against LGBT people. What the Bible does or does not really say about homosexuality is less the point than how living, breathing historical people organise meanings and judgments around sexual activity and how we think about our bodies. What of Christianity, the dominant religion in the South Africa? A large majority of South Africans identify as Christian, and even non-Christians may find themselves holding “Christian” ideas about sex and proper and improper uses of the body. Additionally, whether you are Christian or not, in the South Africa you will be subject to laws that are directly influenced by Christianity’s historical ambivalence about, and even fear of, the body and sex. A dominant line of Christian theology has identified the “lusts of the flesh” with human fallenness—sometimes called “original sin”—and seen sex and the body as places where humans are especially liable to exhibit possessiveness, greed, and corruption. A lesser tradition within Christian theology seeks to affirm the body. In the South Africa, Christian ambivalence toward sexuality and the body has been handed down through Protestant theology. Elsewhere as in South America, and in much of continental Europe, there is a similar, but specifically Catholic theology surrounding the body and sexuality. Whether affirming or warning against sex, moral teaching is as much about prescriptions for how to live peacefully and productively with others as it is about prohibitions. These principles are often informed by and learned through religious morality. But you do not have to be religious to agree that treating your neighbour with respect and dignity is a good thing. The very concept of separation of church and state reinforces the idea that moral rules and ethical practices do not have to be tied to religion at all. These common principles do not require that we all agree. They are the social context in which we can peacefully disagree and morally engage with one another despite our many differences. In public discussions of homosexuality and same-sex marriage, many self-identified religious people openly disagree with the Mag 29


official positions of their religious leaders. For example, a strong majority of lay Catholics support antidiscrimination laws and even same-sex marriage or civil unions. In the USA, a March 2011 report by the Public Religion Research Institute found that “nearly three-quarters of Catholics favour either allowing gay and lesbian people to marry (43%) or allowing them to form civil unions (31%). Only 22% of Catholics say there should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship.” A growing number of mainline Protestants and evangelicals also support some form of legal recognition of same-sex relationships. This is especially true for Christians between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four. There is often a wide gap between the pronouncements of religious leaders and the values held by individuals who have, in their own conscience, and in the context of shared social life, made their own decisions about the morality of homosexuality. Some religious traditions openly welcome LGBT members and will sanctify same-sex unions. There is even an evangelical Christian ministry dedicated primarily to LGBT people, the Metropolitan Community Church, founded in 1968 by Reverend Troy Perry. (Perry, originally a Pentecostal minister, was defrocked for his homosexuality.) Nevertheless, the public debate over LGBT rights and same-sex marriage has overwhelmingly pitted religious values against civil equality. This ignores the reality that equality is also a moral—and, for many, a religious—value. This polarizing debate leaves out the great diversity of perspectives many religious people hold on same-sex marriage and other issues regarding sexual behaviour. Just because you’re religious does not mean you are against either homosexuality or same-sex marriage on religious grounds. Again, you might support it on religious grounds. Despite this great diversity of religious attitudes toward homosexuality and same-sex marriage, many people believe that debates over religion and sexuality irrevocably mean taking one of two opposed sides. Some people argue that sexuality must be limited, or controlled, by morality—in the form of religion—for the good of an ordered society. Others counter that sexuality needs to be freed from the repressive constraints of religion. Ironically, both opponents and supporters of LGBT equality believe in this supposedly uncrossable divide between religion and sexuality. Versions of this argument are so frequently repeated by media commentators, politicians, and activists that they have become common sense. This is not just about homosexuality. In reporting on a range of issues related to sexual life—such as birth control, “out-of-wedlock” births, abortion, homosexuality, and even sexual assault—the US media overwhelmingly quote the most conservative religious perspectives as the moral position on an issue. This means that conservative Christians, usually evangelical or Catholic, get the most airtime. Is it any wonder, then, that many LGBT people and feminists identify religion as “the enemy”? Mag 30

Blanket proclamations such as “religion is the enemy” overlook the many self-identified feminists and LGBT people who are religious and who do not think they should have to choose between their sexuality and their religion. For these LGBT people and their allies, it would be simplistic, and arrogant, to condemn religion as “the enemy.” This equation implies that all religions and all religious people are universally hostile to homosexuality. This is exactly what religious conservatives want us to believe: that all religions condemn homosexuality. This false choice misses another major point. Respect between people of different sexualities, and even within individual relationships, can make sexuality and desire productive forces in society. Sexual intimacies are a form of human relating. They often are the basis for creating moral ways to imagine and make lives with other people. This does not mean that every time you have sex, you have a moral breakthrough. It does mean that sex has the capacity to help us forge deep ties and knit larger communities, a primary purpose of many religions. An example of this is how, in the early years of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, gay men were able to come together to confront the crisis when the US government did not. By drawing on already-developed sexual networks and institutions, such as bars and clubs, gay men were able to care for the sick, start educating one another about HIV/AIDS, and save their own lives. Gay men created not just political alliances, but alternate forms of kinship, out of their ways of relating to each other sexually. Lesbians have done this as well. Religious people continue to struggle within their communities to integrate their understanding of their traditions with the realities of the LGBT people in their midst as neighbours, family members, and fellow congregants. For many religiously active LGBT people and their allies, it may make sense to engage in debates with religious conservatives about how to interpret particular religious texts or implement traditions. Such debates are already taking place within many religious communities. Both religion and sexuality are ways of living - in the language of the South African Constitution, any form of sexual discrimination is against the law. Ways of living are informed by practices as well as by a sense of an inner life. With religion, the inner life is often called conscience. With sexuality, the inner life is the feeling of desire. In both cases, these are profound, lived experiences that make themselves known through practices. Many people “know” what they believe, and many people “know” what and whom they desire, by enacting these beliefs with others. These experiences and feelings keenly inform how individuals understand their lives and make commitments to others. Sexuality and religion may have a lot more in common than most people imagine. Neither has to be discarded or cast out to make room for the other. They can, in fact, be understood through each other.


MARCH diary Friday 3rd Leather Night - Free entrance with leather gear · Friday 10th Long Schlong Night - Free entrance for 20cm + · Sunday 12th Full Moon – Celebrate hedonism with free libation wine · Friday 17th Fetish Night - Indulge your fantasies · Friday 24th Public Pigz Night Be a pig on the bar counter for an entrance refund APRIL diary Friday 7th Leather Night Free entrance with leather gear · Tuesday 11th Full Moon – Celebrate hedonism with free libation wine · Thursday 13 Bad Thursday Party - Be as bad as you wanna be · Friday 14th Long Schlong Night Free entrance for 20cm + · Sunday 16th Easter Sunday Party: Make the bunny cum · Friday 21st Fetish Night – Indulge your fantasies · Wednesday 26th Freedom Day Party - Celebrate your freedom · Friday 28th Public Pigz Night Be a pig on the bar counter for an entrance refund · Sunday 30th Worker's Day Party - Cum work it MAY diary Friday 5th Leather Night Free entrance with leather gear · Wednesday 10th Full Moon – Celebrate hedonism with free libation wine · Friday 12th Long Schlong Night Free entrance for 20cm + · Friday 19th Fetish Night – Indulge your fantasies · Friday 26th Public Pigz Night Be a pig on the bar counter for an entrance refund Mag 38 Also, Mondays: Daddies & Toy Boys – R50 entrance between 6 & 9 for under 20s and over 50s Thursdays: Student Night. R50 entrance with student card.


HEALTH

CORE CONDITIONING:

IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT ABS

Mag 32


MANY OF US HAVE WISHED FOR FLATTER STOMACHS, A GOAL THAT SEEMS MORE FRUSTRATING AND ELUSIVE THE OLDER WE GET. DESPITE THE HYPE, SPOT EXERCISING ABDOMINAL MUSCLES WON’T GET RID OF FAT. WORKING THESE MUSCLES HAS ITS PLACE, BUT THE SMART MONEY THESE DAYS IS ON STRENGTHENING A VARIETY OF TRUNK MUSCLES, COLLECTIVELY KNOWN AS “THE CORE.”

Y

ou might have been tempted by infomercials for exercise devices or breathless magazine articles promising “flat abs” and tighter tummies “in just days.” Despite the hype the only way to do that is to expend more calories than you take in.

muscles. Planking. the bicycle and stability balls. Concentrate on performing the exercises correctly, not on the number of repetitions or how quickly you can do them. And don’t forget to breathe! Basic crunch exercise

Core conditioning improves posture, which contributes to a trimmer appearance. Moreover, developing core muscle strength can boost the effectiveness of workouts and reduce the risk of injuries that sideline our efforts to stay in shape. Getting at the core If you’ve ever had physical therapy to treat low back pain, you’re probably familiar with the concept of strengthening the core — the muscles in the abdomen, lower back, and pelvis that lie roughly between the rib cage and the hips. The strength and coordination of these muscles is important not only for sports and fitness routines but also for daily life — for example, reaching up to a shelf, lifting a child, or sponging a spot off the floor. The current drive behind core conditioning comes in part from studies conducted in the 1990s showing that before they move an arm or leg, people with healthy backs automatically contract their core muscles. Experts concluded that well-coordinated core muscle use stabilizes the spine and helps create a firm base of support for virtually all movement. Exercises that strengthen abdominal and other core muscles should be part of an overall fitness plan that includes regular moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and 20 to 30 minutes of strength training two to three times a week To be safe and effective, core muscle strengthening exercises require proper alignment and progression from one type of exercise to another — adjusted to your body and fitness level. So you may want to ask a physical therapist or exercise professional for help in planning a program for you. (If you haven’t been physically active or have back problems or some other medical condition, consult a clinician before embarking on any fitness programme.) You’ll probably start by learning how to “draw in”. Here’s what you do: Sitting, standing, or lying on your back, gently but firmly tighten the abdominal muscles, drawing the navel in toward the small of the back. The tailbone should be slightly tucked. (Some trainers prefer to call it “bracing” the muscles, as if you were preparing to take a punch in the stomach.) Practice holding this position for 10 seconds at a time while breathing normally. Once you get the hang of drawing in, you can start doing some core exercises. Here are just a few exercises that can help strengthen core

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your fingertips at the back of your head. Tighten your abdominal muscles; then curl your upper body forward, lifting your shoulder blades off the floor. Hold for one or two seconds. Slowly lower halfway to the floor; then repeat. Work up to 12 to 16 crunches. Plank exercise Lie stomach-down on a mat, resting on your forearms. Tighten your abdominal muscles, and press up so you’re balanced on your toes and elbows (see illustration). Don’t let your hips sag or stick up: your body should be in a straight line from head to heels. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds; then lower and repeat a few more times. Work up to holding the plank position for 60 seconds. Bicycle exercise Lie flat on the floor on your back. Place your fingertips at the back of your head. Tighten your abdominal muscles, bring your knees up to a 45-degree angle, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground. Turn your upper body to the left, bringing the right elbow toward the left knee and extending your right leg (see illustration). Switch sides, bringing the left elbow toward the right knee. Continue this pedaling motion, slowly, for a total of 12 to 16 repetitions. Rest and repeat. Note: Avoid pulling on the neck. Stability balls Because the ball is intrinsically unstable, core muscle activity is greater when you perform certain exercises on it than when you perform the same exercises on a stable surface. Arm and leg raise on the ball Arm and leg raise on the ball Lie over the ball so that your hips are on top of it and your legs are straight. Toes and fingers should comfortably reach the floor. Tighten your stomach muscles, then lift your right arm and left leg (see illustration). Hold for five seconds; rest a moment; then repeat with the left arm and right leg. Do eight to 12 repetitions. When you’re ready for more, try lifting the same leg and arm Harvard medical School Mag 33


WORD PERFECT THE GOD WHO MADE MISTAKES Ekow Duker

Panmacmillan, R224 The God Who Made Mistakes, Johannesburg-based author Ekow Duker’s third novel raises important questions relating to the classification of people based on their identity and what sexual orientation means in the world. Behind the closed doors of their suburban Johannesburg home, Themba and Ayanda Hlatshwayo, both legal professionals, are beset by deep tensions that claw with relentless intensity at the polished facade of their lives. Ayanda seeks solace in dance classes, while Themba is increasingly drawn to the male companionship he finds at a book club. With wit and sympathy, The God Who Made Mistakes explores the origins of Themba’s unease and confused sense of identity stemming from the complex issues surrounding homosexuality in South Africa’s townships. It takes us back to a river bank in Alex, the township where he grew up, and to a boy he once knew who met a violent death there. As the story peels back the painful layers of recollection, Themba’s domineering mother, Differentia, has a major decision to make. Themba, however, is a married man and his marriage is threatened by his closeted homosexuality. But it is when developers approach the family with a view to purchasing their home for a supermarket development, tendrils of envy and greed begin to creep out of unexpected quarters as unscrupulous family members seek to grab a share of the loot. Back yard tenant, Tinyiko, with her short skirts and questionable morality, and Themba’s disgraced, unemployed elder brother, Bongani, begin to plot and scheme, while across town Themba’s wife Ayanda immerses herself in dance classes as she tries to escape depression and deal with her fragile marriage. Temba finds comfort at a book club where he meets other gay men. But when his past walks unexpectedly into his present, it threatens to blow apart his carefully constructed world. The God Who Made Mistakes is a powerful, poignant story of unexpressed longings which, when finally uttered, can no longer be contained. The book is a MUST READ for all gay people as it deals with homosexuality in the context of family relationships, religion, cultural beliefs and society in general. Oil field engineer turned banker turned writer, Ekow Duker grew up in Ghana and studied in the UK, the US and France. He works in data analytics in Johannesburg, where he lives with his partner, Bridget, and their two children, Nathan and Noemi. Ekow’s critically acclaimed first two novels, White Wahala and Dying in New York, were published in 2014. The God Who Made Mistakes is his third book. MEET EKOW DUKER AT THE BOOK NIGHT AT ALEXANDER’S BAR, CAPE TOWN, ON MONDAY 27 FEBRUARY AT 6:30 / 7:00pm

Mag 34


HOW YOUR LOCAL HEALTH4MEN CLINIC CAN HOOK YOU UP Words: Bruce J. Little

H

ealth4Men has over 250 competent clinics nationwide and two Centers of Excellence, one in Cape Town and one in Johannesburg, which offer a variety of sexual health services specifically geared towards helping gay, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men (MSM). To find your nearest clinic, click here:  http://www.health4men.co.za/ map/ Health4Men Clinics and other clinics that have been trained by Health4Men, specialize in HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) related services. You can enjoy the following services and treatment options at a Health4Men Clinic: STI screening and treatment: Free and confidential screenings for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and genital warts.

HIV screening, monitoring, management & counselling: Free and confidential HIV screening in a discreet and relaxed environment. If you do test positive you can also expect to receive CD4 testing and counselling. Treatment: Free antiretroviral treatment therapy, based on your CD4 count and other medical factors. Once you’re on ARVs your health care workers will continue to monitor your health and will be available to address any side-effects you may experience. If you test HIV+ you can commence free treatment immediately. PEP: You can access PEP (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) if you’ve had a high risk exposure to HIV infection, provided that you test HIV negative and that you commence the treatment within 72 hours of the exposure to the virus. PrEP: Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is an HIV prevention strategy where

HIV negative people take medications daily to prevent them from becoming positive if they are exposed to the virus. It is currently not available in the state sector outside of demonstration projects such as at the Ivan Toms Centre for Men’s Health in Cape Town and Health4Men at Yeoville clinic in Gauteng. Sex workers can access PrEP from the Wits Reproductive Health & HIV Institute (WRHI) clinic in Hillbrow. The Department of Health is working towards providing PrEP for sex workers and MSM in the future. Other health concerns: In addition to HIV and other STIs, you can consult your healthcare worker if you have any other sexual health concerns, like your prostate, testicular and anal health. To find your nearest Health4Men competent clinic go to our handy clinic finder. http://www.health4men.co.za/map/ Bruce J. Little is the Content Creator for Anova Health Institute.

Shangela who competed in 2 series of Ru Paul’s Drag Race pictured here at the Ivan Tom’s Centre For Mens Health in Cape Town Picture courtesy Evan Tsouroulis

Mag 35


OUT TO LUNCH GAY POWER COUPLE BEHIND NEW SUSHI AND ASIAN EATERY, BEN WEI

Ben Wei is owned by (business and life) partners, chef Jim Dai and entrepreneur Ian McMahon, and is open Monday to Saturday for lunch and dinner. So what makes it so special? Apart from a unique spin on these familiar dishes made with the freshest fish and ingredients, the extensive, vintage designed menu even includes Banting and vegetarian options. Carefully selected wines available will perfectly complement any order and satisfy the most distinguished palates. Think sushi or Asian food, and brace yourself to be pleasantly surprised. At Ben Wei you can forget about the typical Asian red and black design associated with this type of restaurant. A massive re-brand (Fugu restaurant was previously located here), renovation and revamp were undertaken. Philip Tyers from Lyon & Tyres designed a bespoke interior, pulling reflections from green and blue acid colours, with Hertex material-clad benches and Imperial design wall coverings. Picking up on the hidden LED lights, Francois Mostert from Robin Sprong Bespoke Wallpaper

Mag 36

designed a specific focal centre wall design masterpiece that brings all the colours and interiors together. Now, if the name of co-owner Ian McMahon sounds strangely familiar, don’t be surprised. He is the mastermind behind the highly successful Crew Bar (still the most popular gay club in the Mother City after nine years), as well as MCQP (co-owner) – the biggest costume

party in Africa. McMahon however started his career in restaurants as a 15-year-old waiter at Spur. This progressed, thanks to his highly motivated spirit, to McMahon moving around the country operating Spur Steak Ranches, Hard Rock Cafes and a host of affiliated chains. He then joined Spur Head Office and eventually worked himself up to director level. To this day he

still owns a Spur franchise together with his brother in Robertson. And as if all this is not enough, McMahon is also the owner of Radiomac Retail Radio Solutions – providing music to chains such as Hussar Grill, RocoMamas, Spur, Panarottis and Tiger’s Milk, to name but a few. Believing in always giving back, he is also the chairperson of the Pride Shelter Trust. However, at Ben Wei, it is chef and coowner Jim Dai who carves up delightful sushi and Asian dishes for its patrons. He moved to South Africa from China in 2007 and has been a sushi chef at notable establishments like The Alphen Hotel since then. At Fugu he took the restaurant to the top 15 list of sushi restaurants before joining The Vineyard Hotel. And now he is putting his 10 years’ experience to best use at Ben Wei. The menu is reasonably priced despite the outstanding food and fun, vibey atmosphere, and although walk-ins are welcomed, making a booking is recommended at this highly popular spot. So if it is for a sweet n sour chicken, a plate of delicious sushi or even a glass of Wembley Square brewed Stone Circle Weiss draught beer, make a booking (email: eat@benwei. co.za - call: 021 – 461 2966). Join the Ben Wei conversation on Facebook (BenWei), Instagram (Benweisushi) and Twitter (@BenWeiSushi) BEN WEÍ. Sushi. Asian. Fusion.

Bredine Kruger Photographer

I

f sushi and Asian cuisine is your thing, look no further. Ben Wei, meaning “Original Taste”, recently opened its doors at the highly popular Wembley Square centre in Gardens, Cape Town. This new gay-owned eatery offers a variety of sushi, Thai curies and Chinese dishes, amongst some other original culinary delights.


MUSIC MOVES TRAINSPOTTING 2 SOUNDTRACK The original Trainspotting soundtrack; an album that became a cult classic, defined a generation and took on weight of our collective nostalgia. Like the original, this one opens with Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life’, though it’s remixed by the Prodigy. Out with the freewheeling spirit out youth, in with claustrophobic, electronic buzz of the remix. Words Stacey Anderson – Pitchfork

T

he 1996 Trainspotting soundtrack has been rightly celebrated for merging the Britpop bests of the era (Pulp, Elastica, Blur) with big-beat rave (Leftfield, Underworld). Championing dance music, especially in the powerballad techno of Underworld’s Born Slippy, introduced it to new audiences while it was edging up from the underground stateside. Proto-punk was the other bloodline, Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life the de facto theme, all joyous and seductive id; the wistful, near-sarcastic flow of Lou Reed’s Perfect Day, under Renton’s overdose scene, leant pathos. T2’s mix stokes these moments as merrily as Renton, Sick Boy, and Spud (poor, hapless Spud) slide back into degeneracy. Underworld debuts Slow Slippy, a canter update to Born Slippy’s sprint; splintered mutters replace the prior’s yelps for “lager lager lager lager,” but when those same gentle, sunrise synths nudge to the fore, they are a pensive homecoming. Lust for Life gets a gnarled remix from the Prodigy, slicing a peppy group yelp between Pop’s brays, though the scuzzy synth thrum tapers off into a curious shrug of a conclusion. Underworld’s Rick Smith, T2’s composer and soundtrack curator, also offers Eventually But (Spud’s Letter to Gail), a lovely, glacial runoff of an ambient ballad that folds in somber film dialogue; Blondie gets a return of sorts in Dreaming, after their Atomic was covered by Sleeper in the original. (Perfect Day earns a piano reprise in the film that is not included here.) T2’s soundtrack doesn’t just smack of

the past, though; it gets a timely revamp alongside that seminal “choose life” speech. Edinburgh’s Young Fathers appear three times, magnetic in their scrappy ardor; despite winning the 2014 Mercury Prize for their debut, Dead, the Scottish-Liberian-Nigerian trio remain undersung for their high-velocity, socially astute experimental hip-hop. Director Danny Boyle has called their new track here, Only God Knows, the Born Slippystyle “heartbeat” of T2; it shares that adrenaline, their own rough-and-tumble abandon (“Only God knows that the people are cheating/Only God knows you don’t need him”) merging smoothly with a gospel choir.

like a return to roots for Boyle; his last film soundtracks have been tempered affairs, anchored by Bob Dylan and the Maccabees, Moby and Unkle, and Bill Withers and A.R. Rahman.) Elsewhere, the Welsh drum’n’bass DJ High Contrast whips up a fatalistic film opener in Shotgun Mouthwash; the acidic staccato mimics the drums of Lust for Life and abets a series of fitting poor-bastard asides. (The bleakest: “Last night I dreamt I went to Woodstock but I only saw Sha-Na-Na.”) The dusky London shoegazers Wolf Alice, the British surfrockers Fat White Family, and the bawdy Irish comedy duo the Rubberbandits round out the new class ably.

In fact, hip-hop—absent from Trainspotting — scores the best scene in T2. As Renton accidentally reunites with the homicidal Begbie in a club bathroom (one of T2’s many winking callbacks to toilets), Jason Nevins’ rattling remix of Run-D.M.C.’s It’s Like That thumps with palpable humidity, unyielding in four-to-the-floor rigor. (The 1997 track, a UK hit at the time, feels singularly

The success of T2’s soundtrack, and the film itself, lies in its sense of contentment; it doesn’t lobby to be seminal again. It’s as exuberant as its predecessor, with some honest grit flaking against the more mannered sentimentality; it keeps a popular hearth warm and has a kicking, striving spine. To paraphrase an old friend: T2’s still got a great fucking personality.

BEST QUOTE FROM TRAINSPOTTING 2: Renton: Choose life. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, wishing you’d done it all differently... Mag 37


OUT ON FILM DANIEL DERCKSEN TAKES A LOOK AT THE BEST MOVIES TO WATCH OUT FOR OVER THE NEXT QUARTER Women in Action Hidden Figures tells the incredible untold true story of three brilliant women working at NASA who served as the brains behind one of the greatest operations in history – the launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit; Natalie Portman is sensational as Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy in Jackie (3/3), a searing and intimate portrait of one of the most important and tragic moments in American history; Jessica Chastain plays most sought-after and formidable lobbyist in D.C. who takes on political power-brokers in Miss Sloane (17/3), Charlize Theron plays the director of an international aid agency in Africa who meets a relief aid doctor amidst a political/social revolution in The Last Face (7/4), and in The Fate Of The Furious – Fast 8 (14/4) Theron seduces Vin Diesel back into a world of crime that he can’t seem to escape; Below Her Mouth (21/4) is a bold, uninhibited drama that begins with a passionate weekend affair between two women; in Rules Don’t Apply (5/5) Lily Collins plays a small-town beauty queen and devout Baptist Marla under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes; Alicia Vikander plays an artist in the 17th-century who switches identities with her maid to escape the wealthy merchant she married to follow her heart in Tulip Fever (26/5), and Gal Gadot plays the Amazon princess who takes on the world as Wonder Woman (2/6).

Men in Action Hugh Jackman returns as Logan: The Wolverine (3/3); Tom Hiddleston must fight to escape a primal Eden in which humanity does not belong in Kong: Skull Island (10/3); Dax Shepard and Jon Baker bring the California Highway Patrol CHiPs to life on the big screen (24/3); Ewan McGregor is forced to look beneath the surface and confront the chaos that is shaping the modern world around him in American Pastoral (21/4); Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver play two 17thcentury Portuguese missionaries who embark on a perilous journey to Japan to find their missing mentor in Silence (21/4); Miles Teller stars as Vinny “The Pazmanian Devil” Pazienza, a local Providence boxer who shot to stardom after winning 2 world title fights in Bleed For This (28/4); Charlie Hunnam plays King Arthur (12/5) who is forced to decide where to become involved with his power when he draws the sword Excalibur from the stone; Michael Keaton plays the man who created the Mag 38

billion-dollar fast food empire McDonalds in The Founder (19/5); and Johnny Depp is back in Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (25/5) , finding the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea including him.

Sci-Fi Action

Below Her Mouth

Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds uncover deadly extra-terrestrial life on Mars in Life (24/3); five ordinary teens are the only ones who can save the planet from an alien invasion in Power Rangers (24/3); a human-cyborg hybrid leads an elite task force devoted to stopping the most dangerous criminals and extremists in Ghost In A Shell (31/3); in Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (5/5) the space troopers travel throughout the cosmos and struggle to keep their newfound family together; and an uncharted paradise on the far side of the galaxy soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival in Alien: Covenant (19/5).

Local is Lekker

Charlie Hunnam

Kalushi For more information on the latest film releases, visit www. writingstudio.co.za or visit us on Facebook – Let’s Go To The Movies

The matriarchal rivals of neighbouring families do their best to keep their children from falling in love in Keeping Up With The Kandasamy’s (3/3);Kalushi (10/3) is based on the true story of a nineteen year old hawker from Mamelodi township who became a political icon; three men ruthlessly hunt a pacifist primary school teacher down in Jagveld (17/ 3); a young professor consumed by alcoholism is saved from self-destruction by a former school mate and begins a journey to save his house, his marriage and his life in The Tribe (17/3); Kampterrein: Die Movie (24/3) takes camping to a whole different level; in Die Rebellie Van Lafras Verwey (7/4) Tobie Cronje is an underground parcel courier for a secret organization that recruited his services to complete their covert mission; two men from vastly different walks of life have one thing in common: to win gold river rafting in Beyond The River (28/4); Johnny Is Nie Dood Nie (5/5) explores the tumultuous life of Johannes Kerkorrel and the Voëlvry movement during Apartheid South-Africa; with the enemy hot on his trail and a lethal gunshot wound in his gut, The Recce ‘s (16/6) chances for survival are looking slim as he navigates the treacherous war torn African landscape.


OUT ON DVD LET’S WATCH DVD’S WITH DANIEL DERCKSEN DANIEL RADCLIFFE POST POTTER

W

e will always remember Daniel Radcliffe for his role as Harry Potter in the film series of the same name, and will never forget the day when, at age 17, in a bid to show people he was prepared for adult roles, he appeared naked onstage in Peter Shaffer’s play Equus, as Alan Strang, a stable boy who has an obsession with horses. Since then Radcliffe has drastically changed his image and strutted his acting muscles in a series of bizarre films, now available on DVD. Swiss Army Man will be your strangest and most unforgettable encounter with a film ever! Although this absurdist and surreal horror-fantasy does shock, at its heart it is the soulful romance between two men who meet under the most unusual of circumstances. Paul Dano plays Hank, a man who is stranded on an island, and in his desperate loneliness, tries to kill himself. Then he sees a flatulent corpse was ashore, played by Daniel Radcliffe. Dano is able to board Radcliffe’s cadaver and ride it like a jet ski back to land, where Radcliffe’s various body parts offer a surprising number of survival utilities during Dano’s trek back to civilization. (Hence the film’s title.) Somehow, Radcliffe’s character begins to show signs of life, and Dano’s character coaxes his revival by teaching him how to live, love, and pass gas inconspicuously . . . Over the course of their journey, Hank teaches Manny the joys of eating out, going to movies, and partying, using crudely-constructed props and sets made from plants and garbage they find. Using these, Hank leads Manny to believe that Manny is in love with a woman named Sarah, who rides the bus alone every day. Manny falls in love with Sarah, and it is this love that motivates him to try and find civilization with Hank. Hank portrays Sarah to help Manny learn how to talk to women, but they end up connecting and kiss.

Dane DeHaan & Daniel Ratcliffe - Kill Your Darlings In John Krokidas’s superb Kill Your Darlings Daniel Radcliffe gives an intelligent and considered performance as the young Allen Ginsberg, the nebbishy son of a poet who arrives at university with a head full of uptight anxieties, which are promptly undone by his infatuation with Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan), an epicene preppy who dazzles Allen with his casual erudition and his systematic contempt for rules. The story is about Ginsberg’s relationship with Lucien Carr when they were students at Columbia: Carr was the troubled young aesthete to whom Ginsberg was to dedicate the first edition of Howl, and who was to be involved in a grisly act of violence. Radcliffe gives a forthright and candid performance as Ginsberg, very plausibly representing his idealism and sexual naivety. For

all his bravado, Carr is a troubled young man, struggling with his sexuality, his schoolwork and his attachment to David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall), an older man who is both mentor and predator to him. David, a former teacher of Lucien’s, writes his college assignments in exchange for sex, and hosts Bohemian parties where he shows off his young protégé. When Lu tries to pull away, David becomes increasingly desperate and possessive, and their relationship veers from creepy and sad to violent and tragic. The film is at once a lurid truecrime chronicle and a coming-out story. Its vision of the past is stereoscopic, affirming Allen’s erotic self-discovery even as it explores the shadows of the closet where he and his friends must dwell. In Horns, a supernatural thriller driven by fantasy, mystery and romance, Radcliffe plays the number one suspect for the violent rape and murder of his girlfriend. Hungover from a night of hard drinking, Ig awakens one morning to find horns starting to grow from his own head and soon realizes their power drives people to confess their sins and give in to their most selfish and unspeakable impulses – an effective tool in his quest to discover the true circumstances of his late girlfriend’s tragedy and for exacting revenge on her killer. This rock and roll infused dark fantasy explores why bad things happen to good people, and what the loss of true love can do to a man. Radcliffe gives an assured turn as Nate, a nerdy FBI agent who is persuaded to go undercover to infiltrate a community of neo-Nazis in Imperium. Physically slight, but intellectually forceful, Nate manages to always be one step ahead in this dance with dangerous men who have made hate into a lifestyle choice. The film, directed by Daniel Ragussis, is inspired by the career of Mike German, a former F.B.I. agent who specialized in infiltrating extremist groups. (He is credited with the story, Mr. Ragussis with the screenplay.) Nate begins the movie as a relatively new agent who is looking into the terrorist threat from abroad, but a colleague (Toni Collette) recruits him to switch to her underappreciated area of expertise, domestic terrorism. That means neo-Nazis, white supremacists, skinheads and the rest, and Nate’s job is to win their confidence and try to gain access to Dallas Wolf (Tracy Letts), a radio ranter who seems to be leading his listeners toward some kind of cataclysm. Missing radioactive material has the F.B.I. especially concerned. Radcliffe shines as an undercover FBI agent who predictably finds himself bonding with his target. In Victor Frankenstein Radcliffe plays a hunchback clown who encounters a student doctor (James McAvoy) whose infernal experiments jolt a corpse to life using that newfangled electricity. The nameless wretch is given the name ‘Igor’ (after Victor’s absent roommate, who has vanished in mysterious circumstances) and put to work helping Victor with his stated ambition to build a living being from dead tissue. Enter obsidian-eyed flatfoot Inspector Turpin (Andrew Scott, TV’s Moriarty), who suspects “evil, sinful mischief” on the part of Victor and his new assistant, and sets out to end their blasphemous exploits. Crackling with energy and fizzing with ideas, this fresh take on Frankenstein is a thrilling adaptation that reinvigorates a well-worn tale. Mag 39


ON STAGE

LETS GO TO THE THEATRE WITH DANIEL DERCKSEN recorded performances of Hamlet, which took place during Shakespeare’s life-time, and re-imagines Shakespeare’s most iconic play within the context of the historic performance aboard the Red Dragon, as a play within a play within a play, utilizing a cast of only 6 actors playing 6 Jacobean sailors who, in turn, play all the parts in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

CAPE TOWN There’s some wonderful drama brewing at the Baxter Theatre Centre: Jaco Bouwer tackles Peter Weiss’s theatre classic Marat/Sade (Until 25 March), a bloody and unrelenting depiction of class struggle and human suffering that asks whether true revolution comes from changing society or changing oneself; Jennifer Steyn plays the remarkable anti-heroine, Galactia in Howard Barker’s Scenes from an Execution (30 Mar to 22 April), a candid study of the relationship between an impossibly transgressive artist and the state; Sylvaine Strike brings us another theatre classic, Tartuffe by Molière – (19 to 29 April) a powerful comedy and satire of society, exploring the way in which people are easily manipulated by symbols of power; and playwright and actor Paul Slabolepszy and director Bobby Heaney, once again team up to create a distinctly South African experience in Slabolepszy’s brand new hit play Suddenly the Storm (7 June to 8 July), a whirlwind of mixed emotions – greed, love, loss and healing that touches on topics that make this country so rich and rewarding for those who can brave its storms. To celebrate three decades on stage, Nataniël present his latest creation 30 Years 90 Minutes (4 – 16 April) at the Artscape Theatre Centre. It features favourite highlights from the past 30 years as well as a collection of new songs and stories in both English and Afrikaans. Nataniël shares the stage with Charl du Plessis (piano), Juan Oosthuizen (guitar), Werner Spies (bass) and Hugo Radyn (drums). Sandra Prinsloo and John Kani join forces for the Afrikaans translation of Driving Miss Daisy at the Fugard Theatre (13 March to 1 April) under direction of Christiaan Olwagen. The story defines 72-year-old wealthy, white, Jewish, widowed, retired school teacher Daisy and her point of view through a network of relationships and emotions in conversation with her black chauffeur, by focusing on her home life, synagogue, friends, family, fears, and concerns over a 25-year period. On the music front, 3 Tons of Fun will be doing 3 shows only at the Alexander Bar (20 – 21 April). At the Kalk Bay Theatre you can indulge in the rude, raunchy and rocking Mag 40

Excellent comedy timing, expert verbal and physical funnies, The Play That Goes Wrong is one of the best comedies to hit the stage for some time. If you fall about laughing at Basil Fawlty’s antics in Fawlty Towers and loved the backstage shenanigans of Noises Off, you’ll adore this smash hit of a comedy play. It is on in Joburg at the Montecasino Theatre (24 March to 30 April) and at Theatre on the Bay (3 May to 17 June)

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Country Cabaret Angels on Horseback (21 March to 1 April), where hilarious original songs give Country a makeover, a slap down, and an asskick; all the greatest hits of the legendary Elton John and more solid gold Brit hits are featured in Elton and Friends (4 – 29 April), The Mike McCully Band pay tribute to the Fab Four, The Beatles (2 – 20 May), and Au Revoir (30 May to 24 June) is a carnival smorgasbord for adults, with hints of burlesque, a little steampunk, sensual acrobatics, quirky dance bits, outrageous physical comedy and dynamic vocals. At Theatre on The Bay the magical musical Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (until 8 April) retells the Biblical story of Joseph and his coat of many colours and is packed full of unforgettable songs.

CAPE TOWN & JO’BURG After playing to 5 star reviews and standing ovations in Europe, Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyer’s Hamlet, Prince of Denmark will be on at Theatre on The Bay (12 to 29 April) and Montecasino Theatre (3 to 17 June) before touring the USA. The production takes its inspiration from one of the earliest

Get ready for the musical journey of your life! The critically-acclaimed hit musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert based on the Oscar-winning hit film makes its South African premiere at Artscape, Cape Town on Tuesday, 28 March 2017. Presented by Showtime Management in association with Lunchbox Theatrical Productions and Nullarbor Productions, and featuring an all South African cast, Priscilla will be on stage at Artscape until Sunday, 23 April, thereafter moving to Montecasino’s Teatro from Friday, 28 April to 18 June 2017. Tickets are now on sale at Computicket. Hashtag: #PriscillaSA. Brought to South Africa in association with BBC First.

JO’BURG Joburg Ballet’s first production of 2017 will be the long-awaited return of celebrated choreographer Veronica Paeper’s La Traviata – The Ballet for ten performances at Joburg Theatre (31 March to 9 April). Originally created in Cape Town in 1990, La Traviata is based on the 19th century story of the Lady of the Camellias. A deeply moving portrait of a woman who sacrifices all for the man she loves, the ballet is set to the unforgettable music of Verdi’s opera, La Traviata. The sweeping score has been arranged and adapted for the ballet by conductor Allan Stephenson. For more information, visit Let’s go to the Theatre on Facebook or visit www.writingstudio.co.za


Car Rental Because every minute counts.

Out africa magazine issuu 30  

A Quarterly publication for the LGBTI+ community in South Africa. The magazine is A4 size and published in full colour throughout.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you