Gay Life South Africa

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Welcome to the Gay Life South Africa (Gay Life ZA) blog – a very inspiring community of blog posts for gay people. I am a young gay guy living in Cape Town, and this is the space that I write some of my thoughts, opinions and experiences.

I am just one voice of the millions of other voices out there. So, if you send me your voice, your story, I’ll publish it so that there are more voices speaking out. I always appreciate any comments on my posts and I hope that you tweet anything that you enjoyed.

I will almost always publish good content written by you, and keep it anonymous unless you request otherwise. Click on be a guest blogger to write a post.

Follow me on Twitter: GayLifeZA

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Send me your coming out story

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As gay people, we each have a coming out story to tell. For some of us, the process was easy: family and friends accepted us. For others, it was painful. We may have been rejected by people we love and respect. Some of us feel like we cannot yet come out.

Coming out is not a single event. We come out to some people before others. There may be some that we share openly with, and others that we will never tell.

This is one thing that makes the gay community unique – we all share a uniquely similar story. Let me share your story. I’m happy to keep you anonymous, or share your name. It is up to you. Send me your story either by clicking the “be a guest blogger” link, or the by using the contact page. You can also read my coming out story. I can’t wait to hear from you!

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Feminine Gays: The strongest of the bunch

A Gay Tutorial – by Uriel Ezequiel

This is Uriel’s second featured gay tutorial following on from Being gay isn’t a choice – a gay tutorial.

Can we please have a moment of silence… For all the homosexual hypocrites who endorse and promote gay-on-gay hate.

It doesn’t make sense right? Victims of discrimination, discriminating against other people. Well it happens all the time; after all bigotry is contagious.

Feminine gay Continue reading

Children with gay parents

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I am a freelance journalist, currently working on an article about children with gay parents or a gay parent. The article will appear in Vrouekeur, a mainstream Afrikaans magazine.

Being gay myself, I know this a sensitive issue that must be approached with caution. I also believe the stigma surrounding gay parenting must be broken down – the article will help to achieve just that.

I desperately need to talk to someone, sixteen years or older, that are raised or has been raised by a gay or lesbian parent or parents. Perhaps you can put me in touch with some like this.

Aaron: Feel free to contact JB Roux at rouxjaybee@gmail.com

Co-parenting request

Aside

I’ve come across your website while on my search for the next adventure or experience in my life. From age 21, first time away from home, and doing my postgraduate at a university, I develop this deep crush on this lady friend of mine. I thought there was something wrong with me when I keep on getting dreams about her, but not in the most appropriate of ways.

For years after that, I’ve been back and forth, right and wrong, as to which gender I should go for. Many more experiences and stories in-between to last year, I decided that I will rather go with my heart, because following my head meant that I lived, but was not alive.

I decided to talk to my boyfriend or fiancé at the time, because I just felt what I was doing was not right at all. That staying in a relationship where the connection was not from both sides was not how I wanted to live my life. I could not see myself being in a marriage just for the sake of the children, and both of us wanted children. It was not easy for either of us, but I must say, a year later, I still think I made the right decision.

My blog goes out to any one gentleman who is interested to become a father. I would rather have a co-parenting relationship, than being in a marriage where the children suffers because the parents are cold and fighting happens on a regular basis.

What you seek is also already seeking you. I believe in miracles, so lets see where this gets me.

– Chriszelda

Aaron: If you would like to contact Chriszelda, please send a message using the contact us page.

The Church and Homosexuality: Is the condemnation just?

A soaring and contentious debate continues to linger between the LGBT community and the church. The argument goes like this: the Christian community [at least some of it] believes that homosexuality is unnatural and this is based on the fact that God, in the garden of Eden, created Adam (male) and Eve (female) and instructed them to reproduce and fill the earth (Genesis 1 verses 27 – 28). This is taken as a benchmark for relations between any two people – in the Garden of Eden; a heterosexual relationship was the order of the day, as it should today. The church further throws spanners in the works and argue that if homosexual relations were part of creation, God would have also/instead created ‘Adam and Steve’ which He did not thus making homosexual relationships foreign to creation and unnatural. On the other hand, the book of Genesis chapter 1 verse 27 says so God created man in his own image. For the LGBT community and especially those who are affiliated with the Christian faith this works as a counter attack. A gay person might ask ‘if I am created in the image of God then why am I gay since many have portrayed Him to be a gay, lesbian and bisexual hating God’?

Adam and Eve

There are numerous other verses in the bible that speaks about the inherent sinfulness of homosexual relationships such as Leviticus 20:13 that say that if a male lies with a male as with a women then they have both committed and abomination and they shall be put to death. 1st Corinthians 6:9-11 speaks about those who will not inherit the Kingdom of God and includes those who practice homosexuality. Romans 1:26-28 speaks about both men and women exchanging natural relations for those that are contrary to nature and how God gave them up to dishonourable passion. 1st Timothy 1:10 speak about sexual immorality and homosexual practices as contrary to sound doctrine. Jude 1:7 speaks about the sexual immoralities and unnatural sexual desires in Sodom and Gomorrah and how the inhabitants of those cities were punished by the wrath of God. There are other biblical scriptures that speak about unnatural sexual desires and that they did not go unpunished. These scriptures have served as strong ammunition and reference point for the church and the Christian community at large. Continue reading

Being gay isn’t a choice – a gay tutorial

Being gay isn’t a choice, but even if it was, it would be a good one.

Doesn’t society get tired though? Throughout the ages, an annoying
mantra has been preached and forcibly enforced onto our heads:

  1. Being gay is wrong
  2. Being gay is immoral
  3. Being gay is a crime to humanity
  4. Being gay is a sin

Really? In this day and age where information is easily available, homophobes still think homosexuality is a social sickness that encourages sodomy. How sad really?

Is being gay a choice?

If that came from a dog or a caveman, it might have been excused but from an educated fellow with a degree in logic and common sense… That’s pathetic.

I wonder what drives a person to assume that gay men woke up one day and said: “Hmmmm today seems like a good day to start being gay.” I mean come on, let’s be realistic here. Continue reading

Finding love in the big city (Durban): A losing battle

Let me first disclaim that this is an account of my own experience and others may not find it applicable to their own lived experiences.

Durban is a wonderful city situated in KwaZulu Natal. One has to love the warm but erratic weather and the cool beautiful beaches. The people here are also quite friendly and welcoming although one does encounter a few grumpy individuals now and then. Durban is quite a vibrant upbeat city with an average paced life. It is characterized by rich racial, cultural, ethnic and religious diversity. The city itself is quite stunning at night, with the beautiful coloured lights but also surprisingly quiet and peaceful in the late hours of the night. It is also booming with the LGBT community and many young gay or lesbian people find it easy and perhaps comfortable to express their sexuality in this great city. What is interesting about Durban is that although it is a modernized upbeat city, it has managed to hold on to some of the values and morals of old and it is still conservative to a certain extent. For most young individuals, especially from areas in the North of KZN, Durban it a place to be!

Durban skyline - Gay life in Durban - Finding love

When I came to this city about 5 years ago I had two goals in mind – education and finding love. I come from a rural and quite conservative community from the far North of KZN, and in my community, gay relationships are unheard of. So when I came to Durban I felt liberated and excited at the possibility of meeting Mr. Right. I had believed Durban to be the city of love, to be the hotbed of gay relations and thus anticipated no difficulty in meeting the right people. I always imagined that I would be approached by a nearly perfect person (that I had constructed in my head) and ask me out and from there we would live happily ever after. I am quite conservative you see, and I believed that top gay guys should approach or make the first moves at bottom gay guys and not the other way around; much like in traditional heterosexual relations (perhaps I still harbour this mentality). However things did not turn out the way I expected. Continue reading

Interrogating the Gay Identity: What it means to be gay

Like many minority groups in South Africa, the LGBT community continues to be subject to discrimination and marginalization, perhaps even to a greater extent than other minority groups. In fact one might be compelled to argue that the discrimination against individuals who are in same sex relationships or who are merely attracted to people of the same sex has become normative. While prejudice and discrimination against other minority groups in South Africa – be it racial, cultural or religious is frowned upon, it seems that discrimination against LGBT people is an exception and is collectively accepted and in other instances even enforced. This is quite disturbing given that fact that South Africa has the most progressive constitution with regard to rights and freedom of expression. In this democratic country, people enjoy freedom of expression, or so it may seem, and when that right is infringed on, political parties and other organizations take to the street in protest and advocacy. Gay identity

However it is very disappointing that when freedom to choose and express one’s sexual orientation is subjugated as is almost always the case, no one dares to take to the street and fight for that right except for the gay organizations. In essence, the argument raised here is that the gay community still lives under the ruins of oppression and discrimination, and whenever a person or a group of people is subject to prejudice, labelling and stereotyping is almost always guaranteed to be part of the package. This then brings me to the topic at hand, What does it really mean to be gay? Many notions and beliefs about the gay identity exist, some unfounded and some have an element of truth in them. I will focus on a few stereotypes that I have frequently encountered within the gay community as well as from the heterosexual community which I have understood to bear both elements of true and false.

Many people hold the belief that the principal characteristic of being gay is that of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations, and that characteristic eventually becomes assimilated to the gay identity and becomes the gay identity. But is this true? Well one might agree with this stereotype and say that it is true, however one far-reaching reality has to be taken into consideration: heterosexual people also engage in promiscuous sexual relations, perhaps even more than gay people, but why is the heterosexual or the ‘straight’ identity not recognized as primarily characterized by promiscuity? To most people, it almost always comes naturally to blurt out that gay people are promiscuous, essentially implying that the gay identity is that of promiscuity, but why is it not equally natural or collectively acceptable to say that ‘straight’ people are promiscuous and that the essence of the ‘straight’ identity is that of promiscuity? Is it possible that this label is avoided for the latter group because even if they do engage in this practice, hope still remains for their redemption while the gay community is seen as a lost cause with no hope for any redemption? The answer does not come easy, however one thing stands out, that labelling and stereotyping is a form of power play where the marginalized and/or oppressed get assigned labels that act to further marginalize them. Critiques might then ask the question ‘are gay people not promiscuous?’ The answer is of course they are; some of them that is. The counter question then is ‘are ‘straight’ people not promiscuous? The likely response is that they are, some of them that is. Then why are we splitting hairs!

Another common but frequently overlooked stereotype is that the gay identity is something that can be easily and freely obtained and discarded at any time. The belief is that anyone can be gay or lesbian if they choose to and that when they do not feel like it they can swiftly change back to being ‘straight’. In other instances, being gay is recognized as a passing stage that the individual will grow out of. In the religious community it is seen as some sort of possession by evil spirits and hence can be healed by prayer or by performing certain rituals. Essentially, these beliefs suggest that the gay identity is an illusion, that it does truly exist. This stereotype is typically spread by the homophobic heterosexual community; however gay people cannot be exempt from the blame as well. Some people are gay today and ‘straight’ tomorrow, some are known for having lived a heterosexual life and all of a sudden divorce their partners and take on a gay or lesbian cloak, this only serves to strengthen the stereotype and sends confusing messages to the general public. Of course one has to appreciate the cultural and religious push and pulls that lead other people to take on a fake sexual orientation identity so as to please the demanding society, however it is that giving in that work to keep the gay community in the fringes of society. This then means that we, as gay and lesbian people have to re-evaluate our own positions and convictions if we are to strengthen advocacy of LGBT rights in South Africa.

I believe I have raised a relevant argument, this article is not necessarily about whether promiscuity is associated with being gay or not, it is not about whether the gay identity if fluid or fixed, but it is about the religion and politics of homosexuality, it is about the popular opinions of the homophobic community and how all these work together to oppress and marginalize those individuals who identify themselves either as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. I have used the stereotypes as examples to illustrate how little and seemingly harmless labels can be used as weapons of mass destruction, or in this case of gay identity destruction.

I believe that an identity is a powerful socio-political and psychosocial tool; it gives one (or a group) a place in the larger scheme of things, it conveys certain characteristics and attributes of the individual or the group. When that identity is tarnished, the entire being or life form of the individual or group or community becomes tarnished and loses its credibility and good social standing, and after the tarnishing comes the ridicule, then the oppression and discrimination. Where we stand, the gay identity has been tarnished and hence the marginalization of the gay community, but were are not beyond reparation – how do we go about repairing our bulldozed identity, well for me it starts with accepting, nurturing and embracing my own identity as a gay person before attending to the group identity.

What does it really mean than to be gay? Well different people hold different notions and subjective beliefs of what it really means to be gay. For me it means being ME! It is not necessarily a separate identity or an identity that I can put on and take off like a hat, it simply means being me. If I am a good person, gentle at heart, conservative, religious and kind, then for me being gay is that. If I am an outgoing, extroverted and fun loving person, than for me, being gay is that. If I am an intellectual, successful professional, than being gay for me is that. For gay people, the gay identity is their own identity; it is their persona, who they truly are to others and to themselves, that is the gay identity. It is not separate nor does it stand out, but it’s just part of the package.

Finding Love in the Mother City

Where do I start talking about finding love? Yet alone in one of the most vibrant and culturally rich cities in Africa? Coming from a much smaller place – Durban, where everyone is laid back and always seem to be on a “Go Slow”, I have found the transition to be rather difficult.Table Mountain Finding Love in the Mother City Gay Life

I have been here now for all of but three months, and made all of but one friend. So how does one attempt to find love in the city without being consumed by the seductive and erotic nature of the gay community and not swallowed by the drug and orgy scene? Maybe I am asking for too much too soon. Continue reading