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Reid, Graeme, author
How to be a real gay : gay identities in small-town South Africa / Graeme Reid
Alternate Title Gay identities in small-town South Africa
South Africa : University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, 2013
book jacket
Location Call Number Status
 3rd Floor  HQ76.3.S5 R353 2013    AVAILABLE
Subject(s) Gays -- South Africa -- Social conditions
Gays -- South Africa
Lesbians -- South Africa
Physical Description xi, 306, [16] pages of plates : plates ; 22 cm
Note Includes bibliographical references (pages 286-293) and index
Summary "How to be a Real Gay takes its title from a series of workshops organised by gay activists in the small town of Ermelo, South Africa. Focusing on everyday practices of gayness in hair salons, churches, taverns and meeting halls, it explores the ambivalent space that homosexuality occupies in newly democratic South Africa: on the one hand, protection of gay rights is a litmus test for our Constitutional democracy, yet on the other, homosexuality is seen to threaten traditional values, customs and beliefs. This book is the first to emerge that recounts how gays in small-town South Africa negotiate this difficult symbolic terrain. How do discourses on international gay and lesbian social movements and gay equality hang together with local views on identity, gender and relationships? Why do small-town gays harness fashion, style and glamour in the making and sustaining of identity? How do economically vulnerable gays organize, access resources and create networks linking small towns to cities? How to be a Real Gay delves to the core of what it means to be other in contexts of risk, exclusion and inclusion. In its richly textured way, it also speaks to the tremendous capacity of gays to imagine and create life worlds in a harsh environment."--Publisher's website
Contents Introduction: Local meets global: Small-town gay identities -- Then and now? Historical precedents and theoretical concepts -- Ladies and Gents: Gender classification and self-identification -- Hairstyling: Being feminine and fashionable -- Hairstyling as an economic niche -- How to be a "Real Gay": Workshops on identity -- "Gay" sangomas: "Traditional" or "Millennium" and Un-African? -- History and the search for identity: Can Gay be African? -- Conclusion: Country and city styles: Being traditional and modern

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