2013 June 3: The Strength of Love and Acceptance

Kopano Sibeko

“One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right when the head is totally wrong” inspired by this quote from Martin Luther King’s book Strength to Love (1963).

I realised that the word strength entailed a lot this past weekend for the Makhubu family, the celebratory achievement of their daughter Zandile Makhubu who just turned 21 a little less than a month ago. In the black community it is an achievement to be 21, in university and without a child.

However, there’s nothing novelty about being 21 but there is about being raised in a family that understands, accepts and supports a homosexual child without judgment.

While I was sitting in a beautifully decorated black and pink theme tent, my mind pondered on maybe, just maybe Zandile’s mother had envisioned a drop-dead gorgeous hunk sitting next to her daughter in this beautiful celebration and the only thing that resonated in my mind is that she embodies so much strength and that strength can only be derived from love and with that comes acceptance.

Acceptance is hard to practice especially when you don’t understand that  you need to accept, but it only makes sense that it all goes down to our institution of thoughts, reasoning and the ability to love unconditionally.

My observation is that we all draw that very strength from our parents who have accepted us. Through that very strength we can be able to dismantle the battles of ignorance, discrimination and hate, by acknowledging those who maintain their love for us. Let us involve them in our world, our relationships that which differ from theirs by what society has ruled out as demonic and let them be the voice that many have silenced.

Zandile’s Mother strength to speak about her pride in her daughter and speaking up and out about her acceptance and love for her daughter’s sexuality might have changed another parents mind about how they can accept and love, it might have helped another closet case to go home and come out to their family and most of all it might just have changed a homophobes thoughts about the latter.

Previous by Kopano
2013 June 4: I was not Her

Previous article by Zandile
2013 Feb. 14: Hello, my name is Zandile, and I am in love with a woman

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8 Responses to 2013 June 3: The Strength of Love and Acceptance

  1. hhhhmmmm.. wow, i really envy Zandile for having parents that understand and support her and are not ashamed to speak up in front of a lot of people about their daughter’s sexuality. i have been observing behaviors of parents from cities like Johannesburg and Durban, especially Johannesburg, there seem to be a big gap between parents from the cities and those from the rural areas. parents from jozi (and i am not saying all of them, but most) accept their children the way they are, they do not try to change them and force them to be who they are not. a few weeks ago, there was a funeral in soweto of a young lesbian girl called Dineo. lesbians were accepted and felt at home in that home, D’s girlfriend was also acknowledged. and i know friends who reside in Jozi who openly go and introduce their girlfriends to their parents and they will be accepted. in the inner city of Durban I also know a lot of friends who have parents who are very supportive..
    The behavior shifts when you move away from cities. but why is this? once again i know a friend who lost her girlfriend and she was going to be buried in Newcastle kzn, the parents knew fairly well that the daughter was lesbian but we were chased away from the gates of that home and not allowed to come in to pay our last respect to someone we knew. her girlfriend was told that she killed her with vibrators so she is not allowed. this is very appalling. i am also out to my parents but now then they will throw negative remarks about my lesbianism, and infront of people they will be on some: “uSlondiwe useyaqeda eskoleni, sesilinde umkhwenyana nje nezinkomo.” and i’d be on some: “but why are you doing this?” and they will answer bravely vele as if nothing is wrong bathi: “ohho, vele thina sisabheke umkhwenyana, wena nje uthanda amafashini angasile.” so they know but have not accepted. and this goes for a lot of my friends from back home, there is only a few that i know that are accepted and have parents who are not ashamed of them.

    we need more parents like Zandile’s parents.

  2. Kopano says:

    What you stated there is so true, there is a vast difference in the different cities. Joburg parents are rather exposed to a lot of things and likely to be more accepting because of that,

    Traditionally rooted cities like Durban are still yet to be open to our lifestyle, though it requires us to educate them and involve them.

    I sincerely hope that one day you’re parents will be just as accepting. Mine are very accepting, but they still have that mentality that every girl I bring home is a shag of some sort.

  3. Pingback: 2013 June 1: Zandile’s 21st birthday photos | inkanyiso.org

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