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The Politics of Belonging: Exploring Black African Lesbian Identity in South Africa

Mikki Van Zyl, Sarah Frances Gordon, Amanda Gouws


This article explores black African lesbian identity in South Africa and how lesbian women understand belonging. This is a contentious subject matter and is situated within a long history of heteronormativity and homophobia on the African continent, as well as the influences of colonialism and contemporary society. This history of heteronormativity and homophobia, combined with the Civil Union Act that gives South African lesbians and gays formal rights to marriage, has resulted in narratives in which contemporary black African women unravel the contradictions and emotions embedded in their struggles for belonging and identity in post-apartheid South Africa.



belonging; lesbian; identity; South Africa; black African

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