What makes kinship queer? This collection from leading and emerging thinkers in gender and sexualities interrogates the politics of belonging, shining a light on the outcasts, rebels, and pioneers. Queer Kinship brings together an array of thought-provoking perspectives on what it means to love and be loved, to ‘do family’ and to belong in the South African context.
The collection includes a number of different topic areas, disciplinary approaches, and theoretical lenses on familial relations, reproduction, and citizenship. The text amplifies the voices of those who are bending, breaking, and remaking the rules of being and belonging. Photo-essays and artworks offer moving glimpses into the new life worlds being created in and among the ‘normal’ and the mundane.
Taken as a whole, this text offers a critical and intersectional perspective that addresses some important gaps in the scholarship on kinship and families. Queer Kinship makes an innovative contribution to international studies in kinship, gender, and sexualities. It will be a valuable resource to scholars, students, and activists working in these areas.
At its heart, Queer Kinship poses a question with which no one can live fully and without fear: what is to love and be loved without obstruction. Few questions are as politically, culturally, and personally significant for our human need to belong-with-others. The book is at once critical, questioning, queering, enabling, and generative, surfacing the different possibilities and challenges of doing kin and family differently.
Kopano Ratele, Professor in the Institute for Social and Health Sciences at the University of South Africa (Unisa) and researcher in the South African Medical Research Council-Unisa Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit.
As this important book demonstrates, the global struggle for sexual and gender equality is one of the most critical and contested issues of our times. This exciting collection brings together innovative contributions that address the sexual politics of belonging in South Africa through the lens of queer kinship. In particular, it challenges us to think in a more intersectional way about questions of sexual and reproductive citizenship. The result is a book that opens up contemporary debates about queer belonging in new and important ways, and is bound to be an an invaluable resource to scholars and students.
Diane Richardson, Professor of Sociology, Newcastle University, UK and author of Sexuality and Citizenship.
In this bold new text Morison, Lynch, and Reddy bring together a diverse collection of contributions, all of which speak to the ‘comfort’ offered by normative ideologies of kinship in the South African context. Whilst many of the chapters speak to a hope that such normative ideologies might expand to encompass queer family forms, many also challenge the costs that come with accepting the ‘comfort’ offered by such ideologies. As such, the collection opens up spaces that both assert the importance of reproductive justice, whilst questioning the very terms upon which reproduction is made to matter.
Damien W. Riggs, Associate Professor, Flinders University
PART I: The politics of belonging – questioning queer kinship and belonging
1. Chosen family: A photographic essay
Germaine de Larch
2. Focus on ‘the family’? How South African family policy fails queer families
Catriona Ida Macleod, Tracy Morison and Ingrid Lynch
3. Revisiting ‘familyhood’ and queer belonging: Exploring queer collectivities created through culture and leisure practices
4. Spectres to come: Reproductive futurism, queer Africa, die-ins and drag
5. Esibathandayo | Kin we love: An essay
PART II: Domestic and parenthood desires – the voices of queer youth
6. The domestic desires of queer youth: Narratives of domesticity and dissent among queer students at three South African Universities
Gabriel Hoosain Khan
7. Surviving heterosexism: Queer youth’s parenthood intentions
Azwihangwisi Helen Mavhandu-Mudzusi
PART III: Lesbian women’s marriage and family-making
8. ‘Mna ndiyayazi uba ndizotshata intombazana’ | I…., for one, know that I will marry a woman’: (Re)creating ‘family’ and reflections on rural lesbian women’s experiences of child rearing and kinship
9. Just a piece of paper: Marriage and family formation for lesbian women in South Africa
10. Integration and emergence: Black lesbians re/negotiating marriage and lobola
PART IV: Queer men’s production and performance of family
11. The production and performance of ‘queer’ family by African men who engage in same-sex relations
12. ‘Living two lives’ and ‘blending in’: Reproductive citizenship and belonging in the parenthood narratives of gay men
Tracy Morison and Ingrid Lynch
13. Interracial gay partnerships in post-apartheid South Africa: The ‘journey’ of a heterosexual researcher
14. Queer Kinship in South Africa: Where to next?
Vasu Reddy, Ingrid Lynch & Tracy Morison