“Brave enough”… to be WHITE???


12400660_10153947867685739_6470216236456597505_nSo, after outcry and backlash Cape Town Pride has decided to change their theme/slogan for 2016 Pride: “Brave Enough”… And with this they have missed the point completely. I have previously written about the need to shut Cape Town Pride down, but the theme of “Gay, Proud, Colourblind” was ever only the latest nonsense that has come from a group of white cis gay boys who have managed to turn Cape Town Pride into a racist, apolitical, jol for those who fit within very narrow definitions of queerness. And Besides that, their new slogan doesn’t do much better than the old one…

The question “are you brave enough?” is perhaps on point, but not for the reasons that Cape Town Pride things. How is “Brave enough” relevant for a parade in Green Point, in an area of whiteness? What it asks is whether people of colour are brave enough to venture into an area where we are profiled, are unsafe because of white privilege, white racism, white arrogance… “Brave enough” is problematic because for white cis gay men and white lesbian women there is no bravery needed to party in Green point, there is no bravery needed to be open in an area that eagerly embraces whiteness. The bravery comes in people of colour needing to deal with whiteness that is rampant at Cape Town Pride, in white areas such as Green Point. Where is the bravery from white queer people who seek to just party in their comfort zone? As it is the reality even for queer and trans people of colour to be brave to simply be, to simply exist in a world where both whiteness and cisnormativity rules supreme?

Yet beyond the issue of themes… again, Cape Town Pride has dodged the issue of cisnormativity, of whiteness, at their “festival”… What is your plan of action to address this, apart from having your festival, again, in an area safe for white gays and lesbians? Where is your clear apology even for how offensive you have been for years now? Where is the accountability to anyone but white gays and lesbians? Are you brave enough to take responsibility, finally, and acknowledge your racism?

In the decolonial project that has been pushed throughout 2015, and is moving forward in 2016, queer spaces cannot be left out. As queer and trans people of colour who are committed to a decolonial agenda, we must equally decolonise white queer spaces and call them out for their bullshit.

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2 Responses to “Brave enough”… to be WHITE???

  1. Charlies Malajila says:

    Another wonderful read from you HeiJin!
    I’m amazed that you have such freedom to write these things.
    It angers me that you’re letting the whites get away with this! We (as I’ve mentioned in a previous post) have managed to push out most of the whites from Zimbabwe, as they were the cause of the inequality. The Rhodes Must Fall and Fees Must Fall movements have all influenced us down here, especially in the Kadoma area. Your courage has motivated us and we managed to push out the last few white residents in the area. Things seem to be a lot easier and we finally have a safe space where we don’t feel the presence of White people. It’s unbelievable how your passion in South Africa is contagious to us here too – much appreciated. It gets violent often, in terms of attacking the whites off the property, but never to the point of death. You have taught us that we must do what is necessary to get them out so equality can be held once again.
    Amandla, as you guys say!
    Keep up the good work and keep those articles coming!

    Charles.

    Like

  2. Charlies Malajila says:

    I think this must be the first article in which I totally disagree with you – and this is coming from a black homosexual man from Zimbabwe, who’s stayed in Cape Town for many years.
    Cape Town’s “gay” community is the only community in which I’ve seen rich diversity and by that I mean race, gender and socioeconomic backgrounds. I’ve never seen a community with such diversity that doesn’t feel forced. As much as I respect your input and love hearing what you have to say – I find it counterproductive and in risk of damaging the hard, delicate work which has been put into our movement. This is reminiscent of the classic “divide & conquer” method. Drag shows are dominated by minority groups, award ceremonies have also been predominantly won by minority groups. I’m not too sure how involved you are with the community and for how long you have been in Cape Town to see them? Could you perhaps point out certain issues in which you have a problem with as I can not detect many?
    I haven’t been to Cape Town since March 2015, so I might have missed something (although I keep in regular contact).
    Again, thank you for the lovely read – keep them coming.

    Charles

    Like

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