The Acceptance of Homosexuality in South Africa Essay

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The Acceptance of Homosexuality in South Africa
For hundreds of years South Africa has endured a constant power struggle, oppression under the apartheid government, the AIDS epidemic and homophobia. Internationally there are currently four countries that permit same-sex marriages, which include the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium and Canada. Even though homosexuality remains largely taboo in South Africa, the country is taking steps towards overall equality and improved human rights allowing such unions to take place where this lifestyle was once forbidden.
In modern day Africa homosexuality is illegal for gay men in 29 countries and for lesbians in 20 countries making homophobia a widespread epidemic. This legal status of homosexuals in
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This same visibility is seen today in the United States growing more and more. You can see same-sex coupes holding hands in public and displaying the rainbow flag in plain view to show their pride and in some to confront the stereotypes against gay people in Africa.
The increasing visibility of same-sex couples and the increased visibility of homosexuality did not necessarily mean more gay men and women were coming out. For an African coming out is a continual process because it involves additional cultural and social factors that play a major role. The process is more difficult because the African family structure in much more connected than that in the United States. If something affects one person in a family it affects everyone. Coming out deals with homophobic churches, strong family foundations and ties that emphasize heterosexuality, and the overall negative connotation associated with the GLBT community.
In the African community your stance on homosexuality is influenced by the church, you either do not talk about it or you condemn it completely. In 2004 Africa's Anglican archbishops vowed not to accept any donations from Western churches that support the ordination of gay priests. Even though most churches in Africa depend on this funding from the West they continue to deny assistance. To be gay and black in Africa often means that you must step into and out of the closet depending on the social and
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