How do I write about a life I’ve only experienced as a bystander? Okay, I’ve kissed girls, crushed on my best friend for four years but still , do I really know what it feels like to live under the umbrella for “sexual and gender minorities who are not heterosexual or cisgender?”
A dim light is shined on the absolute greatness that is within the Queer community and is completely switched off when cries of inequality and injustice become loud. We have found comfort in this environment we’ve created where being Queer means leaving your sexual identity behind if you want to focus on your race and vice versa, which simply means being black and Queer in this world is a death sentence.
Queer activists in the late 80s took the word “Queer” which originally means , “strange” and deliberately made it the term for branches of the LGBT community , radiating great “STUFF YOU!” energy to those that questioned their identity. These branches sprawled out are; LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual).
Culture Club’s blackqueerdar has been going crazy! Begging for this article to be put together, shining light on Young queer individuals that are in Johannesburg or Cape Town that bring the rainbow closer to the city.
Twenty year old Kgotlelelo Sekiti is a kindred spirit that is subtly taking over this new era. Grew up in Gomora, Alexandra where he was bullied for being a male dancer and fast forward, 2020 , he has gradually perfected his art in performing and branched into others while at it. From aspiring visual artist to spinning decks , even made rounds on Boiler Room is Pussy party stream from isolation with a 50 minute set that kept feet in the air.
All hail! Queen Disco! Lelo Meslani , an unapologetic rule breaker, ground shaker and great leader to queer excellence. He has contributed to the queer community in Johannesburg by embracing and giving South African queer culture a relatable definition by bringing to life “an inclusive space in the night life scene – one that centres Black queer, trans and non – binary bodies in the forefront, along with femme bodies as well” called Vogue Nights Jozi. Having just celebrated its second year of existence it is without a doubt that it’s weight is carried on firm shoulders.
If there was a beverage named Pona I’d certainly want to sip! Ponahalo Mojapelo maintains a captivating bio that includes; model, dj, stylist and writer, making it impossible to get enough of the living art piece she is. Currently holding the title for “runway champion” at Vogue nights Jozi , being featured on Vogue in the famous Thebe Magugu’s fall 2020 ready-to- wear collection and having just made it into the MyfriendNed family, she continues pushing boundaries and effortlessly proving to us that she is a force to reckon with.
Elle van der Burg , our international angel that would have secured a spot on the Sarafina cast if Sarafina got tired of holding her fist up. Elle is a powerful twenty year old that has spoken for those that would rather shy away. Queer activist and model that was recently a part of Dove’s #ShowUs campaign that showcased women and non-binary people in ways they would love to be seen by the world. With the aim to make people realize that queer people are allowed to exist without the need to defend or explain themselves, she will stop at nothing till her voice is heard.
Boni & Wes
Mr and Mrs Leal were first introduced to Culture Club through their short film, “BONI & WES – A true love story” by Helen and Kim. In the film we get to see the two openly express themselves as a queer couple at an all girls Christian school in Johannesburg, to how their love evolved with Wes coming to terms with being transmasculine. Ever since, the internet has become home for the two, with massive following of positivity and a great platform to be queer activists. With Boni and Wes, what you see is definitely what you get.
We close the month of Pride with a big thank you to the pioneers of the queer community and those that remain fixing the Queer crown. Culture club celebrates you every single day and will stop at nothing in creating a safe place for all.
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