No. 5: Cape Town Pride and Class

Wait! So who must create for you the Cape Town Pride that you want?

Perhaps we ought to consider for a moment that Cape Town Pride as an organisation really does not owe it to us to create a Pride event that is political, inclusive or addresses serious LGBTI issues. The organisation is not the government where there are taxpayers to answer to. It is, from my understanding, an organisation run by ordinary civilians who are dedicating their own time and effort to create an experience they believe the LGBTIA community will enjoy and appreciate.

This fiery blog emerged last week with a strong message to Cape Town’s middle class queer community. It continued this week in the same vein. This week’s subject was about the change that many have waited years to see in the non-inclusive Cape Town Pride events and that responsibility for agency also needs to be accepted by those who express dissatisfaction.

5 Ways Black middle-class Queers in Cape Town could be sell outs.

At least once a month, without fail, I have threatened to break the city’s structural conditioning and mission across to the other side of town to meet other queer folk. This, of course, never materializes because I am part of the beautiful Cape Town that reinforces segregation and upholds its geographic privilege by deeming any location far from Table Mountain as too far, too risky or just not that necessary to visit.

Tie this into the first blog post from last week and it becomes clear what some of the recent post laments: a lot black middle class queers who could be fighting to bringing transformation to Cape Town Pride have settled nicely into their privileged lives, even becoming complacent with the very white privilege they once so fiercely railed against. The piece lists five typical things they say to avoid confronting the battles of queers in the margins of the community. The writer speaks of the ”sell-outs” in the first person plural “we”, which keeps the piece from taking a self-righteous tone.

Is there hope for LGBT rights in in South Africa? Or are LGBTI people left to fend for themselves?

The case echoes loudly the principal challenge facing LGBTI persons in South Africa: while the laws may be good, often, practice does not match up. Public officials subject LGBTI people to astounding levels of prejudice and abusive behaviour.

Brad Cibane’s piece arrives after Nadia Swanepoel, a trans woman, struggled with Home Affairs to procure documents that correctly reflect her gender. An event like this reveals a country with a stellar constitution that does not translate into equality for its queers citizens. Even though the matter has been take care of, it is an unsettling reminder that work still needs to be done.

What the event also made clear was that this mistranslation worked on various levels, in the our everyday lives and in our administrative institutions. The latter is quite alarming because its procedures are expected to closely mirror policy, the constitution itself, but sometimes that won’t happen until you go on a hunger strike.

Queer House of Horrors.

It is hard to say if Fistvoices was any more ungovernable this week than any others but it sure was eventful. I looked for a series of tweets to link together into one coherent text, which proved to be a bit tricky so I thought of picking separate, individual tweets to put on here. However, even that would be a bit bland. So I decided to experiment a little. It is similar to storifying tweets, except that I will bring a cartoonish fictional setting and plot into it. It was fun to write and I tried to not make it too conceptual.

The Mr Smith character only functions as a caricature of conservative white heterosexism. A simple device I use here is that a tweet = a room.

Thabiso invited Mr Smith, a 55 year old straight man, into his home. Mr Smith was comfortable with the idea because his own son was gay. There was a lot he was learning from his son and his partner, especially just how normal gay people could be. Nothing to fuss over. They taught him everything, the tops and the bottoms. “Oh, so bottoms are basically ‘the women,’” he concluded. This was quite satisfying because his son was quite clearly “the man”, even when they were adamant that there was no “woman” in the relationship.

Thabiso and Mr Smith had tea on the patio before the tour of the house. Mr Smith asked to explore the house on his own and take as much time as he wanted, to which Thabiso obliged. The first room was the first door on the right.

society is failing itself by teaching that sex education = heterosexual sex education…lots of queers having sex at 15

Mr Smith stood in the middle of the room, somewhere around the failing, feeling a little apprehensive. He saved a question for later about the dangers of messing with innocent minds.

there is a fallacy that we need to commit to someone who is of our preferred gender.

It made little sense to Mr Smith. He smoothed down his tie with his sweaty palm and hoped that the designers of the house were simply opposed to making first impressions with the way the rooms were arranged. Save the best for last, perhaps.

#youknowitsagaysite when white old men finally see black bodies as ”bed equals”

This one was downright offensive. Hopefully, it only pertained to homosexuals. Sure, it is true that he developed a taste for black women after his first divorce but he had always appreciated their chocolate skin without really acting on it.

i own anal beads, nigga im a freak thou 🙂

He stepped on this curious purple object and nearly slipped. He picked it up to examine it but it merely looked like a decorative object, although of poor taste. There was a box on the table not far from where picked up the object and it had a picture of the thing on its sides. The box was labeled “anal beads”. “Anal beads? Anal… oh, dear lord? Why leave such things lying around? Has he no decency?”

It couldn’t get any worse, could it?

#analpleasure there are nerves there, lots of blood there, your man is most likely to enjoy its stimulation while u giving head

“He does know a lot about sodomy,” he said to himself.

Mr Smith realised he had skipped a room in his hurry to peek at everything as he had promised and see his way out.

straight men and women always meddle in queer business, let me do the reverse

That was when he realised whose stimulation that other room had been talking about and this next room clarified everything:

@MrSkota women taking dildos and inserting it to their men, that is what i am saying

Could this madman possibly mean that he, Mr Smith, as straight as can be…

#Prostatejoy every male bodied str8/gay top/btm is capable of enjoying bottoming #analpleasure

What a grotesque way to build a home! It was gay men like Thabiso who were ruining it for other upstanding gay citizens like his son. He should rush home and call his son to confirm that such things were also just as abominable to them. They were the good gays.

The End.