1st Edition

Beyond the Mountain Queer Life in "Africa’s Gay Capital"

Edited By B Camminga, zethu Matebeni Copyright 2023
    238 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Beyond The Mountain: Queer Life in "Africa’s Gay Capital" contributes to the body of knowledge on the lived experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI) communities in Cape Town.

    The book provides insight on the lives of the LGBTQI communities in Cape Town and challenges the stereotypes and prejudices against these communities. The chapters consist of both narratives of lived experiences and academic discussions presented by novice as well as experienced scholars. The imagery of beyond the mountain is a depiction of the lives of LGBTQI community and immovable negative perceptions the general public have to them and seeks to expose their world and the kinds of violence and abuse they are subjected to, as well as unveiling the racial discrimination within these communities. The book revolves around five themes: education, emancipation, protection, acceptance, and integration of those who identify as LGBTQI people in society.

    Introduction: iKapa Lodumo - An introduction to the infamous Cape Town

    zethu Matebeni

    Prologue: Queering Cape Town’s posture as “Africa’s gay capital”

    Stella Nyanzi


    1 Uncle Gravel

    Wanelisa Xaba

    2 Of mountains and multiculturalism: The Cape Town tourist gaze

    Annie Hikido

    3 Violent cistems: Trans experiences of bathroom spaces

    Nigel Patel

    4 Drag lives here: A photo essay

    Lindy-Lee Prince

    5 Shifting in the city: Being and longing in Cape Town

    B Camminga


    6 The politics of safety talk and practices: Lesbians constructing belonging and queer world-making in Cape Town

    Susan Holland-Muter

    7 The GALA archives: Preserving the “queerer” side of queer Cape Town

    Linda Chernis

    8 Phoenix rising above isolation

    Liesl Theron

    9 Unearthing silences about raced and gendered queerness in Stellenbosch

    Chantelle Croeser

    10 The Miss Gay Western Cape Pageant: An alternative black queer space

    Liberty Glenton Matthyse

    11 Black lesbian politics and organising spaces

    Funeka Soldaat


    12 Graaff’s Pool: A photo essay

    Dean Hutton

    13 Scene of the crime

    Jaco Barnard-Naudé and Pierre de Vos

    14 InterseXion

    Leigh Davids, Robert Hamblin and Sandile Ndelu

    15 Disruption and withdrawal: Responses to 21st century Prides from the South

    Jessica Scott

    16 "Sy is ’n eendjie van ’n ander dam": Race, class and sexual identity intersections in same-sex marriage

    Lwando Scott

    17 No milk, no honey, no safe space: A review of The Promised

    Land Fallacy and Maneo Mohale

    Epilogue: No Easter Sunday for queers

    Koleka Putuma


    B Camminga (*they) is post-doctoral fellow at the African Centre for Migration and Society, Wits University. Their research interests include transgender rights, particularly in relation to migration and asylum; the bureaucratisation of sex/gender; and transgender history in South Africa. Their first monograph, Transgender Refugees and the Imagined South Africa: Bodies over Borders and Borders over Bodies, in 2018. In 2018 they were runner up for the Africa Spectrum: Young African Scholars Award, which honours outstanding research by up-and-coming African scholars, for their article “Gender refugees in South Africa: The ‘common sense’ paradox.” B treads the fine line of being a queer and a trans activist academic.

    Zethu Matebeni is African Humanities Program Fellow. While at the University of Cape Town (20012017), Zethu developed the Queer in Africa series, artistic and scholarly interventions which interrogate queer life in Africa. Included in Zethu’s long list of publications are Reclaiming African: Queer Perspectives on Sexual and Gender Identities (Modjaji Books, 2014) and the co-edited Queer in Africa: LGBTQI Identities, Citizenship and Activism (Routledge, 2018). Zethu is a queer scholar activist, a documentary film maker, the curator of the Queer Tour in Cape Town and a writer on African queer realities. In June 2019 zethu joined the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of the Western Cape.