Defiant Desire: Gay and Lesbian Lives in South Africa

Routledge
Free sample

Defiant Desire records the lives of lesbian and gay South Africans of all races as they have lived in the face of censure, denial and oppression. The history of gay identity in South Africa is here in its past and present aspects: from a drag salon in Woodstock to a gay "shebeen" in kwaThema; from a church in a Pretoria nightclub to Johannesburg's lesbian and gay pride march; from Afrikaans love poetry to new activism. The book is a document of lesbian and gay struggle, and indispensable for those interested in the sexual politics coursing beneath the country's troubled passage to democracy.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Routledge
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Published on
Sep 13, 2013
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Pages
374
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ISBN
9781136656026
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Gay Studies
Social Science / LGBT Studies / Lesbian Studies
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Homosexuality is a taboo subject in the Arab world. While cleri denounce it as a heinous sin, newspapers write cryptically of 'shameful acts' and 'deviant behaviour'. Amid the calls for reform in the Middle East, homosexuality is one issue that almost everyone in the region would prefer to ignore. In this absorbing account, Guardian journalist Brian Whitaker calls attention to the voices of men and women who are struggling with gay identities in societies where they are marginalized and persecuted by the authorities. He paints a disturbing picture of people who live secretive, fearful lives and who are often jailed, beaten, and ostracized by their families, or sent to be 'cured' by psychiatrists. Deeply informed and engagingly written, Unspeakable Love reveals that -- while deeply repressive prejudices and stereotypes still govern much thinking about homosexuality -- there are pockets of change and tolerance. Unspeakable Love was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award in 2006. This updated edition includes new material covering developments since the book's first publication. 'A must-read for anyone who believes in human rights' Rabih Alameddine 'Masterful -- incredibly balanced and thoughtful' Ben Summerskill 'Anyone interested in reform in the Arab world must read this book' Mai Yamani 'Wise and compassionate' Guardian 'Groundbreaking' Daily Star Lebanon 'Never before has such a comprehensive study of gay civil rights been published' The Middle East Gay Journal 'Boldly delves into one of the biggest taboos in modern Muslim societies with subtlety and sensitivity' Globe and Mail


Gay and Lesbian Communities the World Over examines the treatment and status of gays and lesbians in 21 countries around the world. The countries included are Canada, the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Israel, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, South Africa, India, China, Japan, and Australia. The book explores the history of homosexuality dating back to ancient Greece and Rome, as well as attitudes toward gays and lesbians within the world's most prominent religions, the arts, literature, and film. This investigation is unique due to its comprehensive and innovative analysis of a wide range of topics concerning gay and lesbian communities across a large number of countries. The authors report on the rights of gay and lesbian citizens in the countries listed above, as for example the right to marry, adopt, serve in the military, hold certain occupational positions. They also describe the status of gay and lesbian citizens as for example, the legality of homosexuality and sanctioned punishments. When available, public opinion data are reported on how respondents feel about gays and lesbians in their country as well as their opinions on what rights should be afforded to this group. Data are reported on respondents' opinions on allowing gay marriage, civil unions, adoption, and allowing gays to openly serve in the military. The representative sample of countries in this study will help scholars get a better sense of the status of gays and lesbians across the globe.
A New York Times bestseller: The “magnificent” memoir by one of the bravest and most original writers of our time—“A tour de force of literature and love” (Vogue).
 
One of the New York Times’ “50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years”
 
Jeanette Winterson’s bold and revelatory novels have established her as a major figure in world literature. Her internationally best-selling debut, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, tells the story of a young girl adopted by Pentecostal parents, and has become a staple of required reading in contemporary fiction classes.
 
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a “singular and electric” memoir about a life’s work to find happiness (The New York Times). It is a book full of stories: about a girl locked out of her home, sitting on the doorstep all night; about a religious zealot disguised as a mother who has two sets of false teeth and a revolver in the dresser, waiting for Armageddon; about growing up in a north England industrial town now changed beyond recognition; about the universe as a cosmic dustbin. It is the story of how a painful past, rose to haunt the author later in life, sending her on a journey into madness and out again, in search of her biological mother. It is also a book about the power of literature, showing how fiction and poetry can form a string of guiding lights, or a life raft that supports us when we are sinking.
 
Witty, acute, fierce, and celebratory, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? is a tough-minded story of the search for belonging—for love, identity, home, and a mother.
An inner life of Johannesburg that turns on the author's fascination with maps, boundaries, and transgressions

Lost and Found in Johannesburg begins with a transgression—the armed invasion of a private home in the South African city of Mark Gevisser's birth. But far more than the riveting account of a break-in, this is a daring exploration of place and the boundaries upon which identities are mapped.
As a child growing up in apartheid South Africa, Gevisser becomes obsessed with a street guide called Holmden's Register of Johannesburg, which literally erases entire black townships. Johannesburg, he realizes, is full of divisions between black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight; a place that "draws its energy precisely from its atomization and its edge, its stacking of boundaries against one another." Here, Gevisser embarks on a quest to understand the inner life of his city.
Gevisser uses maps, family photographs, shards of memory, newspaper clippings, and courtroom testimony to chart his intimate history of Johannesburg. He begins by tracing his family's journey from the Orthodox world of a Lithuanian shtetl to the white suburban neighborhoods where separate servants' quarters were legally required at every house. Gevisser, who eventually marries a black man, tells stories of others who have learned to define themselves "within, and across, and against," the city's boundaries. He recalls the double lives of gay men like Phil and Edgar, the ever-present housekeepers and gardeners, and the private swimming pools where blacks and whites could be discreetly intimate, even though the laws of apartheid strictly prohibited sex between people of different races. And he explores physical barriers like The Wilds, a large park that divides Johannesburg's affluent Northern Suburbs from two of its poorest neighborhoods. It is this park that the three men who held Gevisser at gunpoint crossed the night of their crime.
An ode to both the marked and unmarked landscape of Gevisser's past, Lost and Found in Johannesburg is an existential guide to one of the most complex cities on earth. As Gevisser writes, "Maps would have no purchase on us, no currency at all, if we were not in danger of running aground, of getting lost, of dislocation and even death without them. All maps awaken in me a desire to be lost and to be found . . . [They force] me to remember something I must never allow myself to forget: Johannesburg, my hometown, is not the city I think I know."
"Whether recounting suffering or triumph, Mark Gevisser is a clear-sighted, fearless, and generous guide." —Andrew Solomon

A groundbreaking look at how the issues of sexuality and gender identity divide and unite the world today

More than five years in the making, Mark Gevisser’s The Pink Line: The World’s Queer Frontiers is a globetrotting exploration of how the human rights frontier around sexual orientation and gender identity has come to divide—and describe—the world in an entirely new way over the first two decades of the twenty-first century. No social movement has brought change so quickly and with such dramatically mixed results. While same-sex marriage and gender transition is celebrated in some parts of the world, laws are being strengthened to criminalize homosexuality and gender nonconformity in others. A new Pink Line, Gevisser argues, has been drawn across the world, and he takes readers to its frontiers.

In between sharp analytical chapters about culture wars, folklore, gender ideology, and geopolitics, Gevisser provides sensitive and sometimes startling profiles of the queer folk he’s encountered on the Pink Line’s front lines across nine countries. They include a trans Malawian refugee granted asylum in South Africa and a gay Ugandan refugee stuck in Nairobi; a lesbian couple who started a gay café in Cairo after the Arab Spring, a trans woman fighting for custody of her child in Moscow, and a community of kothis—“women’s hearts in men’s bodies”—who run a temple in an Indian fishing village.

Eye-opening, moving, and crafted with expert research, compelling narrative, and unprecedented scope, The Pink Line is a monumental—and vital—journey through the border posts of the world’s new LGBTQ+ frontiers.

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