Across the continent, and throughout the world, South Africa has become known for its tolerance towards us, the LGBTQIA+ community, it was the first country in Africa to explicitly mention the right to freely identify as queer in terms of sexual and gender identity, and expression. We were also the fifth country in the world to legalise same-sex marriages.
However, even if being who we are is legal, we live in a devastatingly segregated and unequal society, where the combination of race, class, gender and sexual identities still heavily impacts every part of our lives. Queer bodies still experience disproportionate violence in the name of tradition.
They Called Me Queer, curated by Kim Windvogel and Kelly-Eve Koopman, highlight the experiences of South African Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Intersex and A-sexual + people. They explore how South Africans have taken their queer identities and how they express it in a country where diversity to one’s sexual orientation and gender identity and expression is free to all, but still a looming danger.
This book is a compilation of queer South African voices by people who fit into any part of the spectrum.
These are our stories of acceptance and rejection, of young love and old lovers, of the agonising thrills of coming out and coming into ourselves, of our sex lives, of our families and communities.
Writing by Haji Mohamed Dawjee, Lwando Scott, Ling Sheperd, Maneo Mohale, Chase Rhys, Wanelisa Xaba, Jamil F Khan, Khanya Kemami, Janine Adams, Craig Lucas and others.