A LIFE BEYOND DEFINITION
*Caption: Picture taken from the 2015 Pride event
Written by: Zama Ngcoya
Many theories have been brought forward in an attempt to shed light on the concept of homosexuality and the true inspirations behind it. Although some of these theories have been understood and accepted by most, it is evident that this lifestyle is one that has drawn much attention on those who choose to live it, in some cases, attention that is not desired.
There has been much debate on this lifestyle, with some questioning whether it is on par with religion.
According to Pastor Zamo Mkhize of Pinetown Christian Church, one becomes homosexual by choice.
He added that the biggest inspiration of people choosing to become homosexual is because of a lack of witnessing or experiencing successful relationships, or marriages between heterosexual couples and opt for same-sex relationships in exploration and quest for love.
Mkhize further said that certain scriptures in the bible confirm that homosexuality is a sin, quoting Romans Chapter one, and two- shedding light on homosexuality during the ancient times.
According to medical practioner, Dr Khan, the root cause of homosexuality remains blurred.
“The topic of gays and lesbianism has been there for ages. It’s been foretold in the bible in Soddom and Gomorrah, but as medical practitioners, we do not see any genetic link to the cause of gays and lesbianism. We think it is a bit of nurture, as compared to nature,” said Khan.
Khan added that homosexuality is merely a lifestyle choice.
“A lot of people turn to gay and lesbianism later on in life. So this also refutes the theory that there is a genetic basis between this lifestyle also, it may be environmental in terms of exposure, but there is no link to abusive relationships or early Sodommy or rape that has been the cause of this kind of behaviour.”
He also encouraged for more research to be done.
“There is a lot of research that must be done into this area to look at other factors, that we may be overlooking. For example, there could be more nurture in terms of early puberty and exposure, also the family environment in terms of the male to female ratio. But at the moment the jury is still out in terms of the cause of gays and lesbians.”
Khan encouraged more people to keep an open mind on this lifestyle.
South Africa was applauded by many countries when it became the first African country to legalise same-sex marriage. Although the country’s constitution has allowed for same-sex relationships, it has proven a mammoth task for most societies to understand and accept this lifestyle, with some going as far as committing hate crimes such as killing people who date the same gender a, beating them up, and some men performing what they call “corrective rape” on lesbians.
Because hate crimes are not yet recognised as unique crimes in South African law, finding reliable figures to support this and showing the extent of this issue was quite tricky.
Although homosexuals often face the difficulty of being shunned in society, the Gay Pride is one event which they use to unwind and be themselves.
The Gay Pride is a commemoration of all life. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people rise above emotional, verbal, and physical abuse to which they are exposed on a daily basis and promote equality and dignity for all. This campaign is aimed at engaging the community in various advocacy activities towards promoting respect and protection of LGBTI rights.
For transgender, Luyanda Mzimela, former Miss Pride, 2015, this is more than just an event for her.
“Pride to me is a celebration of every individual in the LGBTI community and we get to stand up for our rights in the community we live in,” said Mzimela.
Mzimela added that although she lives openly as a transgender male, one of the problems which she encounters is opening accounts as she her identity document states that she is male.
She also said that she feels as though she is not respected as a transgender individual in South Africa.
“As trans women we are usually seen as sex objects and men just want to fulfil their sexual fantasies forgetting that we are human and deserve to be loved and respected as women,” added Mzimela.
Mzimela concluded by admitting that although it would take time for homophobic individuals to accept this lifestyle, they will eventually have to accept it as they might have offspring who are part of the LGBTI group as well.
For Lawrence Zwane, a gay male, Gay Pride signifies a huge part of his existence.
“Gay pride signifies support and unity amongst us all where LGBTI members come together and support each other and it means the world to me,” said Zwane.
Zwane discouraged members of the heterosexual community, which are judgmental.
“My message to straight people who judge homosexuals is that they should remember that we are all people and we are humans too with feelings. They should be cautious of what they say because a single word has the potential to drive someone to commit suicide,” concluded Zwane.
The 2016 Durban Pride, themed “Humanity Beyond Identity,” will be hosted on the 23rd of July this year.