South Africa remains a global leader in the legislative protection of individuals who engage in same-sex relations, and is the only country in Africa where the rights of these individuals are explicitly recognized and protected by the constitution. Yet South Africa’s identities are still contested and evolving, particularly for same-sex desiring teachers – many are forced to locate their sexualities privately for fear of being ostracized, bullied or losing their jobs, resulting in the miseducation of young people in schools. This volume reveals the various ways in which black South African male teachers construct their sexual and professional identities, how they accommodate structural dictates while simultaneously resisting them, and the effect this has on students.
Presenting the day-to-day experiences of eight same-sex desiring teachers within repressive contexts, this volume challenges the Western origins and assumptions of queer theory, particularly its inability to confront communal forms of social organizing and its focus on individual agency. It asks for more socially responsive theorizing that takes into account the role played by location, race, class, gender and sexual identification within South African and international contexts.
Table of Contents
1. From silence to visibility 2. Theoretical and methodological framing 3. Same-sex practices and Zulu masculinity in an evolving post-apartheid South Africa 4. Zulu culture and Christianity: A marriage of convenience in advancing homophobia 5. Internalized homophobia: Passing to conform 6. Passing for opportunity: The unconstrained sexual liaisons? 7. Passing at school: excellence and professionalism as a coping mechanisms 8. Conclusion
Thabo Msibi is Associate Professor and Dean in the School of Education at University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.