Friday, November 25, 2005

Lesbian Visibility

November 25, 2005

In South Africa like most countries there's a shortage of lesbian visibility within the LGBTI struggle. Almost four years ago, the first and only lesbian organisation was formed under the name FEW - Forum for the Empowerment of Women, it is due to this organisation and it's members that we've currently seen a rise in lesbian and bisexual women visibility.

A lot of lesbian women prefer to stay indoors and have their gatherings there instead of going out. Judging from what i've heard and seen, I would say the reason for this is that there are no spaces reserved only for women. When you do go out, it would be to a gay club which is mostly hounded by gay men. Many women feel that it would be difficult to start a women's only bar/club as women are not as outgoing or out there like their male counterparts.

But once a lesbian gathering os organised, the ladies come out in droves - all shapes and sizes. It's a beautiful event. And if you'd like to see more women, then come to South Africa duirng Pride month, it becomes a haven of beauties, parading around and attending workshops and looking for the next party.

So all in all, South Africa is getting there in terms of lesbian visibility and countries like Uganda and Zimbabwe are following suite which is great for Africa and the women's movement. Our society brushes off homosexuality because they think that only white people are gay and hence it's an imported trait, so with our sisters coming out in numbers; these assumptions will be challenged and our voices will be heard.

We've been hiding behind men for too long, it's time we go out there and reclaim what is ours...Our Freedom to be women who love women. period.

© Mpumi 'Sky' Mathabela
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