Home Institution

Macalester College

Publication Date

Spring 2012

Program Name

South Africa: Multiculturalism and Human Rights


My ISP works to illuminate the diversity of LGBTQI experiences and lives in Cape Town. I do this through discussing the privilege necessary to "come out" in Cape Town and, subsequently, have access to The Pink Village, Cape Town's gay district. By Bringing in theory on "coming out" as a white experience and the queer movement as re-centering white normativity, I work to openly discuss how a history of exclusion has lived on in Cape Town's gay district and pushed the more marginalized gay communities out of the city center. Through academic research, participant observation in both the gay village and in the townships, and five informal interviews with South Africans who identify as LGBTQI, I work to reveal how queer spaces are both places of inclusion and exclusion on the basis of race, religion, gender identity, etc. My conclusion is that white gay men, unlike black or coloured queer South Africans (especially lesbians), are able to utilize pre-existing racist and misogynistic structures to gain greater access and acceptance in Cape Town. Subsequently, queer identified black or coloured South Africans, especially women, are made more marginalized by the spaces and communities that are supposed to accept them. This is largely a result of a long history of apartheid in South Africa that has left the country with many questions and issues surrounding equal rights, access, and (in)visibility in Cape Town's city center.


African Studies | Family, Life Course, and Society | Gender and Sexuality | Inequality and Stratification | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology of Culture


Article Location