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Visit the active LitNet platform at www.litnet.co.za


 
Leefstyl | Lifestyle > Gay

Gay


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Who Are We? Why Are We Here?
Christina Engela - 2010-10-27
I sat down this morning wondering what our community is all about. I'm thinking about the Pink Community of course. Pink, because of the confusing array of acronyms we apply to describe ourselves, that almost always put some sub-groups before others, and invariably leave someone out. Pink, because of our association with the feminine, with the notion that we break the boundaries set for us by society, and because it flies in the face of some beliefs that pink represents weakness and inferiority –...

Spirit Day
Cobus Fourie - 2010-10-27
Today the news broke that a Pink rights activist (or LGBT as they prefer in America) committed suicide in Brooklyn . This follows shortly after a spate of half a dozen young people committed suicide in America in the space of a month due to homophobic bullying and abuse. Subsequently 20 October 2010 was declared Spirit Day after a grassroots campaign by a Canadian Facebook user who started the event on the social media network went viral and attracted millions and helped to draw attention to the...

Holding Hands
Christina Engela - 2010-10-19
Last night I attended the inaugural meeting of PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians And Gays), a new group in Port Elizabeth. It’s an initiative of one group I’m involved with, ECGLA (Eastern Cape Gay & Lesbian Association), and the PE branch of Lifeline. This initiative is the culmination of the past year’s co-operation between Lifeline PE and ECGLA to develop a community-focused counselling service for the Pink community in Port Elizabeth – and I have to admit, it’s...

Masculinity, uncertainty and obscure rites of passage
Cobus Fourie - 2010-10-12
Someone I know quite well alerted me to a (gay) medical doctor and his fascination with all things esoteric, including the sickening concept of male rites of passage. Granted, Mister Medical Doctor is on the wrong side of 40, I am on the wrong side of 25, and I suspect there is also a generation gap between our worldviews. Aside from the generation gap, one also needs to be mindful of my supposed extreme libertarianism in the anarcho-centre-leftist range. Maybe I am viewing all of this through...

Choice – A matter of perspective
Christina Engela - 2010-10-05
I was caught a little by surprise this weekend when I saw an article about conscription in the Old South Africa in which the author claimed that "conscription was a choice", and basically placed the blame for conscripts who served their year or two on them. The author claimed that they could well have made use of the loopholes to avoid national service if they so desired, as he did. There are some flaws in this theory of his, however, as I can attest. I am one of those white "men" who went to the...

Visiting two islands
Egon - 2010-09-30
Once upon a time I had a friend. His name was Bruce and he used to entertain me with stories of how as a young gay man he had fled the conservatism of South Africa. He had been to London. He had been to Italy. But the stories that stayed with me were his accounts of Mykonos. Walking the streets of Mykonos this past week, I found myself looking for Bruce. Of course, he is not here, because this week we have remembered not only his birthday but also his death eleven years ago. I wonder how he would...

Polly Wanna Cracker
Christina Engela - 2010-09-28
It seems that some people just know how to make a lasting impression. I suppose you could say they might have been reading a dog-eared copy of How to make friends and influence people, or might have, if it was available in their local religious book store, with suitable recommendations. In fact, some people will read or believe any old thing, as long as it is sold from such places, preferably with strong recommendations from folks like James Dobson or Erroll Naidoo, and assurances that it won’t...

The Puppet Public Representative and the lack of accountability
Cobus Fourie - 2010-09-23
This morning I read an interesting piece on Politicsweb titled “[a] call for electoral reform”. The article had seemingly been waiting in my inbox as if it was sent just for me. And it could not have come at a better time. You see, as a generally placid person I have the odd axe to grind and it just so happens to be our shoddy and haughty public representatives with whom I have developed a gripe. Christina Engela had written a lot on the detrimental effects of the lack of citizen participation,...

Grow a pair
Christina Engela - 2010-09-21
Sadly, most trans people like being in the closet too much to get involved in educating the public on trans issues. I know of some others here in my city, and every one of them is flatly uninterested in exposing themselves to public view – leaving trans activism to non-trans people – and broadly speaking, giving them the opportunity to blame a lack of progress on others. Yes, of course it’s not easy exposing yourself to the world as a trans person – it’s hard enough...

Reja-vu
Christina Engela - 2010-09-15
POI is getting a whitewash from government, and from figures who think it is a good idea to censor the free press. Some say it will redress the wrongs under the still existing (yet hardly enforced) apartheid-era secrecy law. (Of course they are hoping that by their using the "A word" the lemmings will decide in favour of the POI without bothering to think further than "Oh it must be better then.") Instead of just scrapping it, or using the original draft replacement law from three years ago, which...

Blah, Blah, Click, Click
Christina Engela - 2010-09-08
I don’t think laws in South Africa are formulated by the South African people anymore – these days laws just reach the breaking news when they are about to be passed by parliament – like the POI and Media Tribunal – and as they clearly demonstrate, these are one-sided and extremely partisan, working against democracy. This is not transparency, this is not "due process". We need more "Glasnost" in South Africa! Everywhere, I hear people complaining about politicians and politics,...

Home truths
Christina Engela - 2010-09-02
I think everyone should experience what it’s like to lose their rights, even for just an hour or two, so they know how it hurts when you think how it might be to go through life being made to feel like a second-class citizen – a pariah – based solely on something you are, something you can’t change or help being – something those in power see as wrong or undesirable, particularly for no good reason other than that they feel like it, or their old favourite excuse: "’Cos...

X spots the mark
Christina Engela - 2010-08-26
On Saturday I was at a canvassing table in my voting district, asking people to sign a petition against the government’s proposed new legislation which will gag the media. Surprisingly, a broad base of people of every language, race and political affiliation signed the petition and commented freely about how bad this law would be for everyone. This was encouraging, but what still shocked me was the number of people who just waved me off – or laughed, as if there was something actually...

You, The People
Christina Engela - 2010-08-19
One thing I learned from history is that when you want to isolate and persecute any community, country or group, the first thing you do is to remove the thinkers, leaders and strong-willed from that group. Without them, the rest of the sheep will swallow just about anything the government spoons into the funnel called the media. Stalin did it, Hitler did it, Mugabe has done it - and if the ANC has its way, history will simply have repeated itself. The proposed new law to control the media...

Tussengebied: ’n Persoonlike keuse uit verskuilde en verbygegane gay-tekste (Deel 4)
Hennie Aucamp - 2010-08-19
Klik hier om die eerste aflewering van Tussengebied te lees. Klik hier om die tweede aflewering van Tussengebied te lees. Klik hier om die derde aflewering van Tussengebied te lees. In hierdie aflewering: 16. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (1927–): “Parasites,” East into Upper East: Plain Tales from New York and New Delhi 17.Ruth Prawer Jhabvala (1927–): “Bobby,” East into Upper East: Plain Tales from New York and New Delhi 18. Ruth Rendell (1930-): “The...

Blind eyes, deaf ears
Christina Engela - 2010-08-12
Sometimes I get despondent because it feels like my efforts are wasted, my warnings go unheard, my words fall on deaf ears like seeds falling on hard, dry earth. It was just three short years ago when I first started my "career" in human rights advocacy and fighting for equality of the Pink community. I can still remember those days, when trying to warn of the very events unfolding now, I was labelled an "upstart" and "irrational" and "alarmist" by some prominent community figures. And yet, ironically,...

Tussengebied: ’n Persoonlike keuse uit verskuilde en verbygegane gay-tekste (Deel 3)
Hennie Aucamp - 2010-08-10
Klik hier om die eerste aflewering van Tussengebied te lees. Klik hier om die tweede aflewering van Tussengebied te lees. In hierdie aflewering: 11. Eudora Welty (1909-2001): “First Love”, The Collected Short Stories. 12. Maeve Brennan (1916-1993): “The Servant’s Dance”, The Rose Garden: Short Stories. 13. Primo Levi (1919-1987): “The Juggler”, Moments of Reprieve 14. Primo Levi (1919-1987): “A long duel”, Other People’s Trades. 15....

We’re all African
Cobus Fourie - 2010-08-04
It is the theme of 2010 Joburg Pride (Africa’s oldest and largest Pride event) and the venerable Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu proclaimed it during the kick-off concert of the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup. It is a statement encapsulating unity in diversity. And its scope is not limited to denizens of Africa, as anthropologists and historians alike have postulated that humanity has its origins in Africa. The preamble to the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the inscription on...

Wolves in the fold
Christina Engela - 2010-08-04
It’s pretty hard to deny that a lot of the world’s problems have roots in the activities of organised book religions like Christianity, which are less matters of personal faith and more systems of control. Yes, there are many loving, open-minded followers of this religion, and many Christians out there who follow its core beliefs of loving selflessly and accepting unconditionally. Unfortunately it is the intolerant minority which is shouting the loudest at present – the minority...

Tussengebied: ’n Persoonlike keuse uit verskuilde en verbygegane gay-tekste (Deel 2)
Hennie Aucamp - 2010-08-03
Klik hier om die eerste aflewering van Tussengebied te lees. In hierdie aflewering: 6. Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen) (1885-1962): “The Monkey”, Seven Gothic Tales. 7. Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973): “The Happy Autumn Fields”, Stories by Elizabeth Bowen. 8. Sean O’Faolain (1900-1991): “How to write a short story”, The Collected Short Stories. 9. HE Bates (1905-1974): Triple Echo (novelle), opgeneem in Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal and other stories. 10....

Tussengebied: ’n Persoonlike keuse uit verskuilde en verbygegane gay-tekste (Deel 1)
Hennie Aucamp - 2010-07-28
My stuk “Ander weides, ander keuses” het ’n oorsig gebied van gay-bloemlesings uit die tweede helfte van die vorige eeu tot 2007 toe. Soos in gemelde stuk, wil my hipotetiese bloemlesing “Tussengebied” ook ’n oorsig bied, weer met die klem op literêre gehalte. Ek het my toegespits op verskuilde tekste, dit wil sê tekste wat nog nie in standaard gay-bloemlesings opgeneem is nie, en sluit dus aan by die kategorie “concealed gay literature”,...

Leviticans blow it – the vuvuzela, Twilight and Star Wars fiasco
Christina Engela - 2010-07-28
Is the vuvuzela an instrument of the antichrist? Many people might think so, but most probably just at around 4 am during the World Cup. Some, however, seem intent on taking this pet hate beyond a joke and dragging the idea down a few levels – folks like these, who even compiled a study on the issue. Yes, they actually went into a detailed analysis of the various kinds of animal horns from biblical times and proceeded to defame the harmless looking plastic sports fan accessory (rapidly becoming...

The Mr Gay South Africa road show heads to Durban
2010-07-22
After a successful kick-off with a ‘welcoming lunch’ for selected guests at Zietsie’s restaurant in Johannesburg, hosted by celebrity chef and actor Elzabé Zietsman, the Mr. Gay South Africa™ road show heads to Durban this weekend to find the finalist – or finalists – from the Central Region. It is to be held at Durban View Guest House, 16 Holstead Gardens, Musgrave, Durban and hosted by Dave McNaught, local attorney and co-owner of the Guest House...

A world without fear
Christina Engela - 2010-07-21
Xenophobia? What’s that? Recently there were some widely publicised outbreaks of violence in South Africa which were directed at foreigners living in the country, particularly illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Somalia. The term xenophobia was applied to these acts of violence, and many have taken it to mean only this sort of attack on foreign nationals living among the local population – attacks fuelled by differences of nationality only. Sorry to burst this little nationalistic...

Building a better mousetrap
Christina Engela - 2010-07-15
I noted the other day the similarities between some ancient South American religions and modern puritanical Christian fundamentalism. This is, of course, only my conclusion – but feel free to take it all with a pinch of salt (and, if it is your "world-view", light). The Maya, Toltec and Inca practised human sacrifice of their enemies to satisfy the wrath of their blood-thirsty gods. Oddly enough, despite this minor shortcoming, we miss the contribution their cultures made to the body of scientific...

The supposed prevention of homosexuality through antenatal medicine
Cobus Fourie - 2010-07-13
It is not often that I receive an email addressed to “all human rights campaigners” that concerns a medical development that infringes on some very basic human rights; but there it was on Friday. My colleague often expresses her immense disgust for weekends because such disparaging news has a tendency to arrive just as the weekend is about to kick off. Normally the bad news is a matter of social or religious conservatism, hateful propaganda, gay-cure pseudoscience, hatred, intolerance,...

Religion - the guilt-edged sword
Christina Engela - 2010-07-06
When we think of human relationships, the relationships between people, whether friendships or romances, we often come to a point where there is a parting of ways - a place where friendships stop being rewarding, when a love relationship ceases to be a love relationship and just devolves into something less. Just like a marriage where the love has exited stage left, all things end - and attempting to keep them alive artificially serves no purpose other than to drag things out to the very bitter,...

Leave no one behind
Christina Engela - 2010-06-30
"We often refer to our diverse community of sexual minorities as "GLBT", including main groupings such as Gay, Lesbian (also gay), Bisexual and Transgender. Sometimes, when we feel generous, we add on the “I” for “Intersex”. Perhaps when we run into groups that confuse us, or defy classification into the other main groups, we tack on the "Q" for “Queer” or “Questioning” – although I have to wonder who it is that is doing the questioning....

Scars and suicidality
Cobus Fourie - 2010-06-29
We are well aware what effect societal prejudice has on the mental health of people in the Pink community. I use the word Pink community here since even the most inclusive, well-intentioned and long-winded acronyms, like LGBTIQ, is bound to leave someone out. In Canada, the de rigueur acronym is LGBTTIQQ2SA – quite a mouthful. But I digress. So before I get a semantic headache, back to the topic. I read an article on gay teen suicide not too long ago and it left a lasting impression. The article...

Paranoia: the fuel of the Culture War
Cobus Fourie - 2010-06-25
I have harboured the idea contained in the title for a while now and subjectively it has been proven correct time after time. It is uncanny when one has a grasp on the raison d’être of a social phenomenon and impertinently watch from the sidelines. There is a certain magical realism to it. One is both connected and unconnected, both objective observer and subjective participant. They might sound mutually exclusive but alas, they are not. Intent: the one word which makes the world’s...

Stukkies van New York!
Egon - 2010-06-25
Ek kyk by die venster uit. Die vliegtuig se vlerk verdwyn kort-kort soos slierte sneeu my uitsig belemmer. Ons skrik verbaas toe die wiele die aarde soos ’n ligvoetige danser raak. Omdat dit bedek was onder ’n poeierwit mantel, kon ons nie die aanloopbaan sien nader kom nie. JFK “Welcome to John F Kennedy Airport,” kom die stem oor die interkom. “New York, New York,” volg Frank Sinatra in my kop. “These vagabond shoes are longing to stray; right through...

Sorry, I'm Hatred-Intolerant
Christina Engela - 2010-06-22
Why do some men feel that being gay is somehow an affront to their masculinity? What are they so afraid of? Their own sexuality and of falling out of the closet? That, or are they afraid gay men have bigger dicks? I know some women who have bigger balls. Oh wait, I am one. Let a girl just choose a girl over a man, and they feel they are "less of a man" for it and get all defensive, as if it has anything at all to do with them. That's right - they seem to think that a woman's taste in men (or...

Puppet electorate
Christina Engela - 2010-06-14
Something is still really wrong with our democracy in South Africa. The poorest of the poor are still intimidated into voting for particular parties – being told that their homes will be burned to the ground if they do not vote a particular way. They believe this, not realising that their ballots are secret, and so the vote generally does go a certain way. Intimidation is as much a part of a real democracy as is an ignorant voter – not at all. Our country is very young in terms of understanding...

Double think
Christina Engela - 2010-06-08
I recently learned of the South African government’s pandering to religious fundamentalist groups, and began warning of this threat to civil rights and freedoms as protected by the Constitution. Just this week I saw a news article announcing further confirmation of this collusion between the deputy minister of home affairs in particular and the religious right wing, in the form of the Justice Alliance of South Africa (JASA). It reminds me of the old National Party government and the old apartheid...

Hook, line and stinker
Christina Engela - 2010-06-03
In a new press release in which the Family Research Council (of Focus on the Family and James Dobson infamy) dragged an eight-year-old "study" out of mothballs and served it up with today's sauce, they once again misrepresent scientific data to undermine human rights and promote their own fascist agenda: WASHINGTON, DC – Family Research Council released a new analytic report today showing that women who did not grow up with their biological mother and father are much more likely to...

Manuel, die vlees en die koningin van die see
Francois Loots - 2010-05-27
Vir André Ek skrik gedurende die nag wakker, kom op die rand van die bed gesit en dit voel my of ek van bo af op my neerkyk: sittend op die rand van die bed, met die heupe en kruis wat enige Griekse god jaloers sou maak. In der waarheid lyk ek hoegenaamd nie só nie. Maar hoe ek ook al mog lyk, skeel my tans min en ek staan op en mik vir die drankkabinet in die sitkamer. Ek skink ’n helse groot glas whiskey, neem ’n ewe groot sluk, voel hoe dit keelaf brand en bevind...

Hate The Sin, Hate The Sinner
Christina Engela - 2010-05-25
Where I come from, being called a bigot used to be an insult, and being called bigoted was an accusation people used to take very seriously. Considering that I grew up in South Africa during the last years of the apartheid regime, and was schooled under its influence, this is a revealing scenario. In those days, liberals used to refer to people as bigots because they were supporting and defending racist policies, and were very enthusiastic about it. Very often, the same people used to "categorically...

Rainbow unity
Christina Engela - 2010-05-18
Last week I noticed again that people refer to the rainbow flag as "the gay flag". I have often heard it referred to as such, but for the first time I really thought about it. Is it really? We have quite a diverse community, consisting of gay men, gay women (or lesbians), bisexual people, transgender people (including transsexuals, drag queens, transvestites, she-males) and intersex people. There are also other subgroups, such as pansexuals, panromantics, the gender-queer and asexuals....

Is there something we can do?
Christina Engela - 2010-05-11
There are groups in South Africa which are claiming to be able to "cure" gay people, as though human sexual orientation and gender identity is some form of disease or "lifestyle choice". Their attack on human rights and freedom of expression comes entirely from the perspective of religious conservatism and fundamentalism and has no basis in fact, reality, science or medicine whatsoever. They claim we are "broken", burdened with "unwanted SSA" (Same Sex Attraction), that we are somehow in...

Family Policy Institute - deciding for you what you can and can't have access to
Christina Engela - 2010-04-22
Like me, you might not like porn - I really have other interests, and I wouldn't waste my bandwidth on it, but I certainly don't place myself in the position where I think I should tell people what they should be allowed to do or watch in private and on their own time - as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, of course. Now, aside from murder, rape, paedophilia and grand theft, I can't think of any reason why adult porn could be harmful to anyone. In fact, even smoking is more harmful. However,...

''Bloedskande''
Christina Engela - 2010-04-12
Bloedskande in Afrikaans, literally translated, means "blood scandal" – and yes, what is being done to the dignity, equality and humanity of gay and transgender people wherever discrimination is being enforced by blood services is nothing less than scandalous. I read the linked article "Transgender blood donors in New Zealand" on the topic of discrimination against gay and transsexual or transgender blood donors in New Zealand. The idiotic reasoning employed by the NZ blood...

The politicisation of gender and sexuality through taxonomy
Cobus Fourie - 2010-04-06
The world is obsessed with taxonomies, I told myself upon reviewing some of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – Fifth Edition (DSM-5) diagnoses. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) revamps and republishes its “bible” about every 20 years. The dubious, new edition will apparently appear in 2013. People must find it soothing to categorise things. It makes a chaotic world simple to understand, to interpret and to analyse. What can be more precious than a framework...

Will the real Christians please stand up?
Christina Engela - 2010-03-24
I'm sorry if you are a Christian and if you are open-minded and if you take offence at this article, because you may feel this is directed at you. It is. That is, it is directed to you to show you what fundamentalism is and what it does and what it looks like - and why it has to be stopped. Rest assured, I am aware that there are other kinds of Christians - the kind that concern themselves with their own wellbeing - and the wellbeing of their own spirituality. The kind that lives by the...

Skeepsreg
Wim Vorster - 2010-03-18
Dit reën. Nie ’n stortbui wat alle sondes wegspoel nie, maar ’n mislike, onafgebroke motreën wat nogtans enige buitemuurse pret voorkom. Guur. Winterweer. “Daar gaan ons dag op Sandybaai.” “Is jy teleurgesteld?” Miskien eerder verlig as bek-af. Beskuldig my ouers daarvan. Dat ek regtig gemaklik is in my Adamspak. Toe ek ’n kleuter was, het my ma my skynbaar vir rukkies in die son laat baljaar met net ’n lagie kanferroom aan. In later jare...

Survival of the Righteous
Christina Engela - 2010-03-10
It's not that God isn't a God of love, patience, kindness etc; it's just that some people who claim to follow God aren't - and see fit to single others out - but not themselves. While I have been a Christian and now consider myself an agnostic and spiritual, I differ in my views of the value of the Bible as any form of authority, as it has been shown to have been manipulated and edited to suit those who use it as an instrument of control. This is, of course, a point which is actively...

The secret about The Secret
Cobus Fourie - 2010-03-10
The Law of Attraction, also known as The Secret, is a trademark mass marketing phenomenon even endorsed by Oprah. That alone is a sign of pedestrian popularity. Let us play with some juxtaposition here. In 2001 there was a specific song which played regularly on an indie rock station in Pretoria. This meant that the vast majority were excluded from it, which saved the song from overkill by the commercial radio stations, and as I was quite fond of the song I quite liked the idea of exclusivity. Problem...

Kris
Johann de Lange - 2010-03-08
“’n Stem so skril soos ’n trassiejakkals,” sê Nico terwyl hy versigtig uit die heuningpotjie ’n draaisel bloekomheuning in sy koppie heuningbossietee laat drup. “Veral as hy eers ’n paar weg het. En hy’t altyd op eie koste dronk geraak. Dit was nou nie juis in sy aard om ’n ronde te staan nie. Elkeen vir homself; selfs al het hý jou vir ete genooi by ’n restaurant.” Hy sit terug met die koppie tee in die een hand...

The parent trap
Christina Engela - 2010-02-19
Parents ... tricky subject We love them, we get angry with them sometimes when they move in on our space, but mostly we love them. We love them for being mom and dad, we love them for telling us stories when we’re little, for piggybacking us around the house, for buying us little surprises, for tucking us in at night and for chasing away the monsters under the bed. We’re angry with them sometimes for stopping us from doing things we want to do, for sending us to our rooms, for...

Mr Gay South Africa™ Charl van den Berg crowned Worldwide Mr Gay 2010 in Oslo!
2010-02-15
At just after 3 am local time on Valentine’s day, Charl van den Berg, Mr Gay South Africa, was crowned as the new Worldwide Mr Gay 2010 in Oslo, Norway. The competition (previously known as Mr Gay World) drew delegates from all over the world representing all of the continents. Australia came second and the rest of the top five were made up, in descending order of Hong Kong, China (who still managed to take part even after the Chinese government shut down the national competition) and...

For Richard
Christina Engela - 2010-02-10
I received a letter on SêNet the other day, a comment on one of my articles, filled with disdain for truth and fact. The writer is clearly under the impression that he is on some sort of modern crusade to save the world against the deadly "homosexual agenda". LOL, as they say in chat spaces and forums. Who, I wonder, is going to save the world from them? I wouldn’t want to enter into any sort of tit-for-tat engagement with Christina Engela. Personally I have always thought...


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