South Africa's LGBTI newspaper since the 1980's

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ABFAB Drag Show at Artscape

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Cape Town has a scintillating drag tradition that dates back to the Thirties, especially in vibrant District Six. Today the pageants, the parties, the hair dressing salons and the fabulous drag queen shows still flourish across the city.Abfab

However, the shows are often hosted in backwood clubs, catering to a select few who know where to find them. The Absolutely Fabulous Drag Show endeavours to put the creme de la creme of drag on centre stage at the Artscape Theatre Centre. With fine feathers preened, false eyelashes fluttering and sequins glittering, the fiercely feminine/masculine are gathering to celebrate the world of `lip sync`, ambiguous seduction and gender identification.

The enigmatic Odidiva Mfenyana comperes the evening, as we also pay tribute to the late Reverend Rowan Smith. A surprise special guest also awaits you. Top class drag divas Vida Fantabisher, SA`s Got Talent 2016 runner-up Manila von Teez, as well as Kat Gilardi, Jayde Kay Johnson and Angel Lalamore of cabaret 3D trio fame, will showcase present-day glory. Camillo Lombard maintains a strict tempo while Basil Appollis stiches it all together and cracks the designer whip as director.   Show will be at Artscape in Cape Town on the 11th August 2018, with a show at 3pm and 8pm.

Tickets are available exclusively from Computicket at R100 each.

Equality Scrum Down

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By Tim Trengove Jones


Being as butch as I am, I obviously follow South African Rugby.GayRugbyKissScrum
This, I know, is a very compromising admission, but after all these years perhaps our readership will tolerate this idiosyncratic passion?
Recently, as some of you will know, Supersport experienced the embarrassment of having former Bok player and now commentator, Ashwin Willemse, stalk off the set alleging that Nick Mallet and Naas Botha, his two co-commentators, were condescending towards him. His ire seemed directly mainly at Mallet who, I must admit, I find very full of himself.
Predictably, a storm erupted. The two “white” men were accused of racism. A hearing was conducted by Supersport who, just recently, announced that Botha and Mallet had been exonerated of any taint of racism.
Willemse, however, refused to participate in the enquiry and his side of the story remains untold. However, we do know that, on a previous occasion, and in writing, Mallet had requested Willemse be replaced, claiming that he (Willemse) spoke “rubbish.”
Wherever we go in this country, shades of racism, or racism in the full glare of daylight, presents itself. This incident is a particularly interesting one to me. Rugby is easily and rightly seen as a bastion of White South African nationalism. Along with that, inevitably it seems to me, it is seen as a bastion of machismo, of heteronormativity, of hyper-masculinity. In these guises it might well be the antagonist of gayness.
Perhaps you recall the innuendos and rumours that swirled around former Bok winger, James Small. That his sexuality should have been an issue makes the point, doesn’t it? It is rather like the fussation that erupted when Bavuma scored his first century for the Proteas at the Wanderers: Much delight, and much commentary about a Black player scoring a century for the Proteas. That people made these kinds of noises is not, for me, a mark of progress, a celebration of diversity, not an indication of how far we have come, but how far we still have to go.
The same can be said of the Willemse issue. I don’t know the precise circumstances. Perhaps we never will know. But there, in a Supersport studio, as the Boks become more representative than ever of the diversity of this country, allegations of racism emerge.

Read more ... The power of three years

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Three years ago, the campaign kicked off, asking gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM) to be #BraveEnough to make healthy sexual choices like wearing a condom, getting tested regularly and knowing their status. Today, the large-scale, national sexual health campaign has, in partnership with Health4Men, been responsible for enabling over 490 000 men to be tested at MSM-friendly clinics and giving over 12 000 men access to HIV treatment.WTBLogos

“We are incredibly proud of all we have achieved in such a short space of time. MSM are South Africa’s most at-risk population for HIV acquisition and transmission. We are so pleased with the strides we have made in changing behaviour to encourage responsible sex, reduce HIV transmission and promote health-seeking behaviour,” says Nina Morris Lee, Head of Marketing at the Anova Health Institute which is spearheading the campaign, thanks to funding from the Elton John Aids Foundation. “Most importantly, however, we are thrilled to have made an impact on people’s lives.”

Monde Ngwane, a student who chairs a forum at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) College of Health Sciences, shares that has played a large part in enabling their advocacy work in the MSM community. “A lot of people have now been enlightened about health tips, sexual safety and the resources available to them through, particularly because of the way that the information is packaged and distributed. This is changing the way that we, as a community, relate to and access information.”

Fellow UKZN student, Sthembiso Mkhize, first heard about the campaign at an event held on campus. “They taught us about having safe sex, how to use condoms and how we could access medical services for our sexual health. Because of the way that they shared the information, I was able to listen properly and now I practice safe sex.”

Over the past three years, has addressed HIV prevention and treatment issues in an affirming, non-judgemental and sex-positive way that is also entertaining and engaging. One of the many interesting and exciting ways it has done so was by teaming up with fashion designer Stiaan Louw to design a limited-edition range of underwear for a campaign called ‘Cover Your Butt’. This coincided with the announcement that pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medication was readily available in South Africa. If taken daily, by HIV negative individuals, PrEP can drastically reduce the chances of HIV infection. The campaign brought to life the concept that HIV prevention could become as easy and routine as changing one’s underwear.

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Joburg Pride 2018

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Johannesburg Pride is in its 29th year and the current Johannesburg Pride team has been actively working on growing the Johannesburg Pride platform since the 24th annual event in 2013. We manage this event via an entity registered in the name of Johannesburg Pride NPC. The current team comprises completely of non-remunerated volunteers with identification across the spectrum of straight, gender reassigned, lesbian and gay males.JoburgPride

Due to the number of disappointments experienced at the hands of volunteers, the policy now requires anyone who wishes to volunteer to submit a detailed CV outlining capabilities to ensure the correct synergy is established. All CV’s are reviewed by an independent team who then execute the on-boarding process of any successful volunteers.
The team at Johannesburg Pride has worked hard to make pride an all-inclusive platform catering for the LGBTQ+ME community. The results have been amazing, as we truly became the Pride of Africa. It has taken 5 years to rebuild the Johannesburg Pride platform, attendance, support and diversity and to date, in spite of the troughs, the journey has been amazing. To help build support, we attempted to hold public meetings, but in most cases the Pride team ended up disappointed due to public no show.
Johannesburg Pride has no true source of income and remains an unfunded NPC. We have been fortunate to draw the attention of a few supporters within the corporate sector who help us pay the bills but to date the directors have always chipped in to ensure all Johannesburg Pride’s bills are paid before the event. On our path to ensuring Johannesburg Pride self- sustainability, we sell the pouring rights, market space and VIP Tickets.
In 2018 we at Johannesburg Pride have made a bold move to host a 4 day event where we will engage in smaller pre- and post-Pride activities. Some of these activities are being sponsored and some have direct costs associated with them and will require tickets to be purchased to ensure the relevant costs are managed. We are thankful and humbled for the way the community comes out to support us. To further develop the LGBTQ+ME community of Johannesburg we are in the process of engaging with sponsors for a much needed Johannesburg Pride Safe House. This initiative has been slow to start but we will continue to persevere until we are able to provide a decent calibre Safe House for the Gauteng Community and beyond.
We are looking forward to seeing you all at Johannesburg Pride running from the 25 - 28 October 2018. Please refer to our website and social media platforms for more details on the 4 days which encompass a total of 6 events.

Antarctica’s first Pride celebration

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Antarctica has chilled through the icy continent’s first LGBTI+ Pride celebration.
Approximately 1300km from the South Pole, The United States’ McMurdo Station commemorated their home nation’s Pride month in June.
Shawn Waldron, Evan Townsend and eight others from the station starting preparing for the icy Pride in April, ahead of the continent’s extended period of darkness.AntarcticPride
“Why not take this photo and let people see that there’s queer representation – even at the end of the Earth,” Waldron said.
The station is home to almost 900 people during the summer, with a small LGBTI+ network who come together for events and viewings of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
“We had a few LGBTQ social events that people showed up to and also because it’s such a small community, it’s easy to find out who is and who isn’t in the community,” Townsend added, “My biggest fear before I left was, I’m going to be the only gay person, there’s going to be no one else here. I was wrong.”
“Having an example of somebody who travels and can have those adventures would’ve been a great thing for me as a kid but even more so being able to see that there are queer people out there who are proud of their queerness and that in no way inhibits them from living these adventures.”

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