A 26-year-old woman in South Africa named Duduzile Zozo was raped and murdered because she is a lesbian. Zozo’s body was found in a yard near her home on June 29 with part of a toilet brush in her vagina. She was yet another victim of “corrective rape,” or the erroneous idea that a homosexual woman can be made straight by raping her. The South African government released a statement last week condemning the violence and offering condolences to Zozo’s family, with the reminder:
“The Bill of Rights of our Constitution recognises and guarantees equality. This fundamental right enjoins South Africans not to discriminate against anyone on several grounds, including gender, sex and sexual orientation.”
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On Wednesday afternoon, the president of Exodus International, one of the largest “ex-gay” organizations in the world, issued an apology to the LGBT community. “I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage,” Exodus President Alan Chamber wrote in a sincerely worded letter. “But I do not have any desire to fight you on your beliefs or the rights that you seek. My beliefs about these things will never again interfere with God’s command to love my neighbor as I love myself.” Hours later, Chambers announced that Exodus would be closing its doors permanently, after 37 years in operation. I felt two distinct reactions to this news: relief for LGBT people who have felt attacked and abused by the social and political messages perpetuated by Exodus, and hope for what this change means for both gay and “ex-gay” people alike.
I have some first-hand experience with Exodus – not as a participant, but as an observer. In November 2007, I attended the organization’s North Atlantic Regional Conference in upstate New York. At the time, I was producing a short documentary film, “Just As I Am,” which explored the “ex-gay” movement through two opposing perspectives: an active Exodus ministry leader, and an ex-”ex-gay” minister who belonged to Exodus in the 1980s. BK, the ministry leader, was going to the conference to lead the music during the worship services, so she brought me along. Keep reading »
Out and hilarious lesbian vlogger Hart was asked by some followers why she dresses so masculine. “If you don’t like men, then why do you dress like them?” was a common refrain. To shut down the haterz who just aren’t getting it, Hart made this video, in which she explains that just because you like something doesn’t mean you have to dress like it. By that logic, dudes would be dressing like ladies, and I would be dressing like sandwiches, which, hey, doesn’t sound like the worst idea. [YouTube]