In a development that should bring home to every member of the LGBTIQ community in South Africa, and the world, of the grave situation presented to us by the spread of the new coronavirus Covid-19, the postponement of Mr. Gay World™ 2020 was announced on 14 March, as follows:
“Due to the unfortunate and unforeseen events unfolding globally because of the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), Mr. Eric Butter, President of the Mr. Gay World™️ competition has decided to postpone the event with immediate effect until a later date to be confirmed in August or September 2020.“We have been following global health organisations, reputable media sources and also national health departments worldwide before making this decision”, said Mr. Butter, who resides in Australia that has recently placed a lockdown on events of over 500 people and advised its citizens to avoid unnecessary travel.
With many member countries in lockdown and most governments banning or in the process of banning events and gatherings of people, we have had to take the unfortunate decision to rather postpone the event to a later date for the safety of our members, delegates, their friends and families and also to do our part in stopping the spread of the coronavirus.
Concurring in the decision of Mr. Eric Butter is Managing Director of Els Event Architects Johann Els, the appointed events & production company of this year’s Mr. Gay World, who said: “We have agreed that it would be best to postpone this event to a more suitable date so that we may have a fuller representation from all countries involved.”
After months of international premieres and sold-out performances, director Oliver Hermanus’ latest film, MOFFIE, will premiere on the local circuit next week – finally reaching his “intended audience…my fellow South Africans.”
The story of a young conscript who battles to survive compulsory service in apartheid-South Africa’s military while confronting toxic masculinity and coming to terms with his sexual orientation, premiered at the Venice Film Festival in September of last year. Since that sold-out performance in Italy, MOFFIE and Hermanus have garnered high praise from critics and audiences across the globe.
In recent weeks, in anticipation of the film’s South African premiere on 13 March, 2020, Hermanus shared and discussed the film with a select few gay men for whom he has great admiration, and sat down to talk about their experience of the word “moffie.” These conversations form part of the #calledamoffie campaign by Portobello Productions – the team behind the movie – to denuclearize the word and the hurt it has caused so many people. Videos of these conversations are available to watch on the film’s website, www.moffiefilm.com and features actor Armand Aucamp, comedians Marc Lottering, Pieter-Dirk Uys and Casper de Vries, TV and radio personality Rian van Heerden, politician Siphesihle Dube, fashion designer Lukhanyo Mdingi, business consultant and founder of the Gay Pages, Rubin van Niekerk, sexual health activist Phumlani Kango, and Damian Engelbrecht, the first openly gay contestant on the reality series Boer Soek 'n Vrou. Among the topics the videos touch on, is how the word “moffie” has affected their lives.
“You had to separate yourself from the word. You had to live as if you were straight,” recollects comedian De Vries. “I like the title,” he adds. The rural Afrikaner community, he speculates with a wry smile, are going to do a double-take. “What the hell is this? Oh, no! Sies man!” And that is the power of the movie’s title, says De Vries. “It’s brilliant. It is out in the open. There it is.”
By Lawrence Mashiyane
It is February and, for those who care for such things as Valentine's Day, it is the month of Love. Some scurried throughout January to get someone 'special' and others are getting on the love train before the 14th. At the end of search, many will be on dates on the 14th and many will be having sex; others will probably be watching TV, but we are not interested in them for now (and clearly love isn't either). The interest is in the ones who will be on dates and/or having a shag. The interest is in what happens after Valentine's Day. After Valentine's Day, how long until the romance fizzles out and turns into a memory or worse, a one night stand? You're probably thinking not long and if you are then it means you know about the cloud that hovers over the gay community; our relationships do not last. Of course this stereotype or stigma does not apply to everyone in the gay community but, as I always say, stereotypes do not come from out of nowhere. They are not made up. Stereotypes are that big cloud of black smoke that let every one know there's a fire. It does not mean an entire building is burning, but it does mean a floor or two could be.
For any relationship to last, one thing is important and that one thing comes before love, trust and commitment/faithfulness. That one thing is compatibility. The problem with the gay community is that compatibility has been cut down to two simple things; sex role and behaviour/gender expression. "Are you top, bottom or versatile?" They ask. "Are you 'straight' acting or feminine?" Once those two questions are asked and the answers are the desired, everything is good to go! But truth is, it is not good to go. Not at all! I am not saying that those things are not important (although how greatly important is up for debate), I am saying that there is more to find out beyond those two. There is a lack of compatibility in Gay relationships and it is usually because people have two things in mind: Society and Sex.
Whether a guy is effeminate or not is usually a concern with society; especially if one is in the closet. Sometimes it is preference but also, some people prefer to be with more masculine or 'straight acting' guys because it is a lot less obvious and covert. When two guys walk down the street, looking all heterosexual, no one really thinks "oh look, there goes a gay couple" but the concern is if a guy walks with another guy who has a twist in his hips, a twang in his voice and speaks with swinging hands; it all looks too obvious. The feminine guy draws too much attention, the two guys walking together now stick out like a sore thumb. Even if some guys are 'open' and out of the closet, the still remain (if I can say) conservative. They do not want to put society on edge, draw the attention of homophobes and they believe that their sexuality is no body's business. A fear for being judged for being gay still exists.
The second concern is Sex. The "are you top, bottom or versatile question?" simply put is, "are we going to be able to fuck or not?" I reject any other interpretation, it simply amounts to that.
In Afghanistan, as part of an illegal but traditional practice, men recruit young boys, luring them with gifts and money with the intention of having sex with them. They do it under the guise of a disgusting old sexual traditional practice called “bacha bazi” (boy play).
The practice has been widely discussed — for example, in The New York Times, Newsweek and The Daily Mail. Further coverage comes in a video documentary titled ‘They don’t just dance’ that is now available online through RTDoc – an English-language documentary channel created by Russia’s government-backed media company RT.
The documentary shows how under-aged boys are recruited and taught how to dance like women in parties organized by rich folks, who then later select their favorite boy for sex.
In Afghanistan, this is not viewed as homosexuality, even though there are strict laws prohibiting the act.
Men who have sex with men (MSM) are South Africa’s most at risk population for HIV acquisition and transmission. For this reason ‘WeTheBrave’, a sexual health campaign, has been launched with MSM in mind. This will be the first large scale campaign ever in this country to specifically address gay men and other men who have sex with men.
The launch event took place in Newtown, Johannesburg on Thursday 25 June with a who’s who of LGBT and HIV activists in attendance. They were entertained by a performance by Odidi Mfenyana and heard messages from Sir Elton John, Professor James McIntyre, and others.
Spearheaded by the Anova Health Institute, and funded by the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the WeTheBrave.co.za campaign will address both prevention and treatment issues in an affirming, non-judgemental and sex positive way, which will be entertaining and engaging.
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