Monday, May 04, 2009

Townships and Sexuality

Dateline April 21, 2009
Yesterday, we got to go into Gugulethu Township again. This time we went to learn about lesbian life in the township. We had a connection through our friend Zanele to a very courageous woman, Ndumie Funda of Luleki'Sizwe, whose fiance was raped and consequently infected with the virus. She died of AIDS a couple of years ago.

Ndumie has taken as her raison d'ĂȘtre supporting lesbians in the townships who have been raped or beaten because of their sexuality.. There have been a spate of murders of lesbians--particularly butch-looking lesbians--and there was very little outcry. We know that South Africa has a wonderful constitution that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientations and a same-sex civil marriage law. But things are still not safe.

I'm reminded of the Combahee River Collective that organized when several black women were killed in Boston with little outcry. That organization led to some of the best black feminist activism and theory.

Ndumie in fron of her cabin in Gugulethu township

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