Ladies and Gentlemen, the future president of SA
In 1996 South Africa was the first country to adopt a constitution that explicitly protects people from discrimination based on sexual preference. By the beginning of next month the constitutional court will be making same sex marriage legal. Cape Town is one of the most popular international gay destinations, and the Mother City Queer Project is one of the biggest gay parties in the world. In sub-saharan africa, where most countries make homosexuality outright illegal, we are a shining beacon of equality.
At least, we are on the surface. Yet, in the townships a woman who does not want to be named has this to say:
I’ve been raped six times, five times just because I am gay. I was raped by men I know, who wanted to show me what it means to be a woman. They thought it would change me, that it would keep me from being gay… I’m HIV-positive because of one of the rapes… I’m just angry. I’m angry all the time. And it is lonely. You are so lonely when you are gay and afraid in the townships.
Hmmm, I wonder what the future president of the country has to say about the increasing dichotomy between the apparently gay-friendly South Africa, and the reality of discrimination, bigotry and hate crimes? Jacob Zuma, over to you:
[Same sex marriage is] a disgrace to the nation and to God… When I was growing up a gay would not have stood in front of me. I would knock him out.