The Lies We Have Been Told: On (Homo)Sexuality in Africa

Author: Thabo Msibi
Created: 2011
Country South Africa
Type pdf
Format pdf
Extent 25
Original Publication
Publication Africa Today
Date 2011
This paper explores homophobia on the African continent. The author contends that homophobia is not only publicly approved by African leaders, it also relies on unsubstantiated claims of an imposed homosexual identity, contradictory ideas on morality and the use of outdated laws. He argues that these claims represent a facade that serves to entrench patriarchy and heteronormativity as legitimate and fixed in African societies. He shows that the key difference between the West and Africa is not the presence or absence of same-sex desire, but its different social construction. Finally, the author argues for an approach that recognises the intersections between sexism and homophobia, and asserts that the situation calls for more focused organising by Africans themselves in addressing the recent increase in expressions of homophobia.
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