All rooms are equipped with an overhead projector
Rooms C, D, E, F, G and H (H only on Saturday): slide projector (framed slides, carrousel. There are extra carrousels available to set up your presentation in advance)
Rooms C, D, M, N, O, U and Committee Room 2: beamer to connect your laptop. You have to bring you own laptop. (If you want to use your Apple notebook, please contact us, as it may be incompatible.)
Rooms C, T and U: VCR
|"Gay" on the Cape : Sexual identities and gay activities in Cape Town, South Africa. |
|The construction of gay male identities in South Africa have been conditioned on the specific historical legacy of the country. Apartheid structured all aspects of individual’s lives be they ‘Black’, ‘White’ or ‘Coloured’. While so far little discussed, it also regulated the way different groups were able to construct discourses of homosexuality. Yet in little over 10 years, the country has managed to reposition itself internationally with some of the most progressive de jure rights for homosexuals in the world. Today, a city such as Cape Town is able to sell itself as one of the most ‘gay friendly’ cities for foreign tourists, competing with such destinations as Sydney and San Francisco. However, these alleged freedoms have been strongly biased towards Western interpretations of sexual identity and Western ideas of political change.
This paper will begin by briefly exploring the way different racially and spatially defined groups in Cape Town came to understand homosexuality, in environments many of which strongly prohibited any public proclamation. Specifically, issues of class, race and gender will be explored, to show how ideas of ‘the closet’ and sexual identity ‘honesty’ do not always apply to groups away from the Metropole. It will go on to argued that the vast majority of homosexual men in South Africa today, in part due to the legacy of Apartheid, continue to express their own identities in ways alien to Western gay activists’ conceptualisation of ‘interest groups’.
As an example, this paper will conclude with an examination of the way recent campaigns around gay marriage have failed to acknowledge this diversity. The failure of White gay activists to acknowledge this only goes to highlight an apparent disinterest in understanding the true diversity of homosexual expression in the country and the problems facing civil society. As such, it will be argued that flaws in the way ‘gay rights’ have been framed in South Africa have excluded many individuals from enjoying the freedoms associated with the ‘New South Africa’.