The country we want to live in: Hate crimes and homophobia in the lives of black lesbian South Africans offers a refreshing perspective on violence perpetrated against black lesbians. Based on a Roundtable seminar, held during the 2006 16 Days of Activism for no Violence against Women and Children, the text engages the heteronormative focus of the campaign, profiles aspects of the dynamic conversations, and builds strong arguments about violence against lesbians. It also profiles the voices of women who are central to the activism around hate crimes and homophobia. In capturing key aspects of the lively discussion of 2006, an update of subsequent events that have bearing on the original seminar is provided, concluding with recommendations that have relevance for research, policy and practice. The country we want to live in makes an impassioned plea about citizenship, belonging and social justice, confirming that silence about these issues is not an option.
Foreword by Writer, Filmmaker and Activist, Beverley Palesa Ditsie
PART I: Context and History
PART II: Perspective and Profile
PART III: Current and Future Prospects
Nonhlanhla Mkhize is Director of the Durban Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre in KwaZulu-Natal. Situated in the Durban CBD, it aims to empower lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities by providing services, support and training to enable them to claim their rights to equality, dignity and freedom within the context of transformation. Nonhlanhla is a counsellor, researcher and human rights defender. She specialises in LGBTI, youth, women and children’s rights. She is passionate about research aimed at advancing women’s health and rights, and is involved in research on women-controlled barrier methods as well as safety methods significant in women who have sex with women contexts. She is a co-chair of Amnesty International South Africa’s Durban group, a member of its ‘interim Board’, a trustee of Behind the Mask, on the Board of the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project, and an advisor to various youth groups.
Jane Bennett is Professor and Head at the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town. As a writer, researcher and teacher, she works beyond the university with a number of national and continental NGOs that focus on gender-based violence, LGBTI justice issues, and trafficking. She publishes mainly in journals that are easy for co-activists and writers on the continent to access (Feminist Africa, East African Journal of Peace and Human Rights, Agenda and International Journal of Sexual Health). She writes fiction (Porcupine was published in 2008), and her main interests are transformational survival (and beyond) in worlds of war (she finds Pema Chodron very helpful), languages, political pedagogies, and the meaning of overcoming violence, from both inward- and outward-looking perspectives.
Vasu Reddy was a Chief Research Specialist in the Gender and Development Unit, Acting Director Culture, Identity & Social Cohesion thematic area) in the Policy Analysis and Capacity Enhancement Research Programme at the Human Sciences Research Council (South Africa) during the writing of this publication. He is currently working as a Chief Research Specialist in the Human & Social Development Research Programme at the HSRC and is also an Honorary Associate Professor in Gender Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He also worked as an activist and executive committee member in the early days of the National Coalition for Gay and Lesbian Equality, and served two terms as a Board member of the Lesbian and Gay Equality Project. Together with the late Ronald Louw and Nonhlanhla Mkhize, he co-founded the Durban Lesbian and Gay Community and Health Centre, where he serves on the Board. He is also Board chairperson of OUT LGBT Well-being. He is interested in the intersection between research, policy and programming, and advocacy. He recently co-edited (with Theo Sandfort and Laetitia Rispel) From Social Silence to Social Science: Same-sex Sexuality, HIV & AIDS and Gender in South Africa (HSRC Press, Cape Town, 2009).
Relebohile Moletsane was a Research Director of the Gender and Development Unit in the Policy Analysis and Capacity Enhancement Research Programme at the Human Sciences Research Council (South Africa) during the writing of this publication. She is currently a Professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. She has extensive teaching and research experience in the areas of curriculum studies and gender and education, including gender-based violence and its links to HIV and AIDS and AIDS-related stigma, body politics, as well as girlhood studies. She is the co-author (with Claudia Mitchell, Ann Smith and Linda Chisholm) of the book Methodologies for Mapping a Southern African Girlhood in the Age of AIDS (Sense Publishers, Amsterdam, 2008) and (with Kathleen Pithouse and Claudia Mitchell) of Making Connections: Self-study & Social Action (Peter Lang, New York, 2009).
“This text is long overdue. From The Rose has Thorns campaign in 2003 to now, our communities have spoken out against the infestation of violent hate crimes that invade our lesbian and trans’ lives. We are supposed to be protected from discrimination by our laws, but families continue to lose their beloved ones to callous murders and 'curative rapes.' It is time that we, as citizens in our respective countries, call for an end to these atrocities.”
- Zanele Muholi, Visual Activist
“This groundbreaking text emphasizes the reality of ongoing violence against black lesbians that has for too long remained hidden and ignored in a country praised for its progressive constitution and forward thinking on LGBT issues. Through an innovative partnership between academics, non-governmental organisations and activists, the text highlights the pain of experience through the voices of those most affected. Anyone who reads this text should be outraged and compelled to act.”
- Vicci Tallis, PhD, Programme Manager, HIV and AIDS Programme, Open Society Initiative for southern Africa
“This book is a ‘must read’ for all in law enforcement, civil society, policy makers, educators, academics as well as lesbians and gay men everywhere. The country we want to live in will leave you wanting to expose the myriad of silences around you. I highly recommend this text for anyone who cares about life and dignity.”
- Zethu Matebeni, PhD fellow at WISER, Wits University
There have been no reviews for this product.
Please login to write a review.