On gayness in Cape Town.

by biltong101

gayDid you know that Cape Town is called the gay capital of Africa? South Africa with its liberal constitution which results, among others, in (same-sex) partnership treated equally with marriage, SEEMS to be a glorious exception in the predominantly homophobic Africa.

At first glance the gay scene in CT is pretty much like in a European capital. There are gay gay places and “gay” places which are for gays but also for arty, free-spirit and let’s not be scared to use the word, hipster people. You know the vibe, overpriced drinks, music too loud to chat and a must check in on Fb kind of thing. Alexander Bar (http://alexanderbar.co.za/), a venue located in central Cape Town, has actually something more to offer. Apart from interesting interior design, it has an intimate theatre with shows all year round.  Just around the corner from the bar starts an area called Gay Village with many spots for gays and straight people finding whatever they’re looking for. If you’re keen on a drag show you can pop in to “Beefcakes” (http://www.beefcakes.co.za/cape-town/whats-on/). I must say I have mixed feelings about that place. It IS fun but a summary of a typical evening there would be: straight waiters  pretend to be gay and let straight ladies drink body shots of them while vocally gifted drag queens in the background cast pearls before swine. But that’s just me being me. If you’re interested what else is out there you may want to use google (*I googled “the gayest number” and google said fifty-one. Fifty-one it is). For those who are looking for something more sophisticated with a similar vibe, there’s “Rocky Horror Picture Show” in the Fugard Theatre. The play is well-sung, well-played, interactive and the main actor is arguably hotter than Tom Curry. There’s also nothing I could say about it which hasn’t been said or written so let me move on.

The unholy land has also annual events for LGBT (and not only) tourists – Cape Town Pride Festival, the Mother City Queer Project which includes the famous annual parade and something more of my liking, Out in Africa Film Festival. The latter is not all-glamorous but rather realistic and reminds us that even though Cape Town and the constitution make us think that gays have it easy around here, nothing could be further from the truth. Both gays and lesbians experience prosecution in more conservative parts of the country, which is everywhere apart from big cities. You may want to read this story to learn what can happen to you if you’re a South African lesbian.


Corrective rape is not recognized in South Africa as a hate crime.

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