What It’s Like to be Gay in South Africa

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What It’s Like to be Gay in South Africa

Joy Moore, U.S./World News and Politics Editor

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   In today’s modern society, the terns “gay”, “bisexual”, and “transgender” have become regular words with not as much of a negative connotation attached to them. Of course, there is still a lot of hatred and antipathy towards those individuals, but compared to many decades and centuries ago, they can be more open in certain countries.

   The RHS Stampede has decided to look more into the issues that surround the LGBTQ+ community and find out more about their struggles around the world. A particular video article that we came across was one by Christian Parkinson from BBC News, South Africa football: ‘Being openly gay has held my career back’. In this video, Phuti Lekoloane, describes the obstacles he faced in his old teams.

   When he played for another team in Johannesburg, South Africa he mentioned that his team lost a game. However, one of his teammates put all of the blame on him and said that they lost because their team had a “sissy.” This completely shattered Lekoloane’s feelings, and it was a truly defining moment because he realized that he was attacked for being something that he cannot control, gay.

   He then joined a team called Tornado FC which treated him much better than his previous team. The team had no issues with him being gay and accepted him fully as just another human being. Phuti’s team only sees him as their goalie and their friend, not as an abomination.

“Gay Pride Event That Was Held in Entebbe.” Campus Bee, 31 Dec. 2014.

   In Bianca Reyes’ opinion, the fact that Lekoloane is blamed for mishaps and being called names by other people is absolutely lurid. Every individual cannot control what sexuality they are, so the fact that he is being judged for something that he has no control over is extremely depressing. Also, being gay doesn’t affect how one plays soccer at all, it has no correlation to movement. This has been scientifically proven.

   Bianca believes that the rest of the world should follow along and at least treat LGBTQ people humanely, since they don’t cause any terror or hurt to society. It is only their sexuality that sets them apart from others, and it doesn’t make them any less or any more compared to the rest of the human race. Further on this, Bianca says, “No, I am not asking for people to accept or force themselves to like LGBTQ individuals, I am only asking them to respect and spread love and positivity instead.”

   Lastly, Bianca thinks careers and success should not be measured on whether or not someone is gay, transgender, or anything else. If a person is able to do their job well and is trying their absolute hardest, they should not be held back because of their sexuality or gender. Treat everyone how you want to be treated, BLOCK OUT THE HATE.

Fabricius, Peter. “Institute for Security Studies.” Institute for Security Studies, 27 Feb. 2014,
issafrica.org/iss-today/just-how-serious-is-south-africa-about-gay-rights.

   Jordan Magee’s view on things is influenced by the fact that she is an advocate for LGBTQ+. She says, “I am disgusted, but not surprised that Phuti’s old team mistreated him in such way. Many countries around the world have not come around to the acceptance of those with non-heterosexuals which is sad in my opinion. One’s sexuality has nothing to deal with their personality or level of “manliness”; it’s simply just an attraction.”

   Jordan is genuinely happy that Phuti was accepted by his new team and that he does not have to be surrounded by teammates with animosity towards him. Though it is unfortunate that some spectators taunt him while he is playing, Jordan is proud that Phuti transfers that energy into playing better. It shows how he’s the bigger person and that he does not succumb to the hatred.

   Jordan hopes that one day, all countries, companies, and sports teams will be accepting of those who are different from the “norm.” Being gay is nothing to be ashamed about and definitely nothing to be shamed for.

“Gay Pride Flag of South Africa.” Wikipedia,
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_South_Africa.