2013 Oct. 24: Jack Daniel’s


by S’bu Kheswa

Yehla ngomgogodlo!
Triple distilled and twice as smooth!  It has been very long since I enjoyed my favourite drink.
When one is on some weight-watching tip one misses out on goodies but once in a while you bend down the Ola freezer and come back with Magnum – Death by chocolate.
They call it cheating I call it enjoying the goodness of life. This Saturday when I visit my mom’s house I will leave my calorie-counting attitude at the gate, if I am lucky I will enjoy her culinary skills.
I will take advantage of her good mood as Pirates will be whipping Chiefs and ask her for the meaning of the word heteronormartivity. I can almost hear her struggling to pronounce the word, let alone attempting to give meaning.

Many lesbians are ex-straights. Some of them even have children from those relationships and some were even married and sadly today some live with HIV. This is understandable given that we live in a heteronormative society.
My friend once told me her mom asked “my child, how can you be a lesbian when you have such beautiful legs” I sit here and marvel at the courage these lesbians had to plug to pursue their truths. I can only imagine the price they had to pay and continue to pay just to live honestly and hopefully happier.

I think our society does not appreciate sexual diversity or even diversity in general. To some extent we all want everyone to be like us and should you differ we are ready to mete out punishment. That punishment is package differently for different people, foreign nationals suffer xenophobia, sex workers suffer all kinds of verbal and physical abuse from all corners of our society and lesbians suffer rapes, assaults and recently a spike of murders. I still can’t get it, one is a survivor of xenophobic attacks but he is openly homophobic.  I would expect members of targeted groups to be more accepting of people who are different.

In my line of work there is a bit of preoccupation with terminology. Recently I learnt a strange word homonormativity.  Most people in the LGBTI community can’t stand heteronormativity but to my surprise they are perpetuators of homonormativity. I think heteronormativity and homonormativity are equally problematic. It is equally offensive when LGBTI people assume that every LGBTI person is homosexual, or even to believe that homosexuality is the norm or it is the only acceptable way of being.  Ignorance and transphobia buttress homonormativity and the levels of intolerance that we experience within the LGBTI community. Like my friend’s mom, LGBTI people ask “but she had DD breasts…”

We need to start embracing gender diversity that exists within the LGBTI community. We should welcome and respect ex-homosexuals just like we did with ex-straights.  I believe ex-straights were never straight in the first place. They were homosexuals who circumstantially lived a straight life. So are the ex-homosexuals. Many transgender and transsexuals identify as homosexuals until they plug enough courage to live their truths.

I am also perplexed by the limited understanding of gender even amongst gender activists. I can fully understand that there are people who take the lesbian identity for political reasons.
Being transgender or transsexual is apolitical, though some folk choose to keep the trans identity for political reasons.  These are just psychological conditions that are can be treated biologically.  It is a shame we live in a patriarchal society because those of us who choose to align our minds and our bodies become beneficiaries of the system.

To make you happy I could tell you, those people who think because you were born ‘female’ you should be ‘woman’ must be referred to us so that they can see no one should be anything because of the ‘sex’ they were born with. As female born person you should be able to live your life as you wish and nobody should box you into a gender. Those people who believe masculinity or manhood is God-given, the highest thing that can never be attained, tell them that there are people like me who mastered it in no time at all (wink-wink).
If you don’t like this whole piece blame it on Jack Daniel’s.


Previous by S’bu

2013 Oct. 18: Transition is in your hands

This entry was posted in Activism, Activists, Another Approach Is Possible, Archived memories, Creating awareness, Education, Emotional support, Empowerment, Gender expression, heteronormativity, homonormativity, Hope, Intellectualism, Love, Power of the Voice, Reflection, Seeking help, Straights, Textualizing Our Own Lives, Transgender visibility, Transgender Voices, Transgenderism in Africa, We Care, Writing is a Right and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to 2013 Oct. 24: Jack Daniel’s

  1. Maureen says:

    good one S’bu.
    i salute and honor you for all the work you have done.
    you continue to inspire me with your activism.
    through you i have learned to never be anything but MYSELF.
    ngiyabonga baba.

  2. clear peaceful mind says:

    Beautiful 🙂

  3. Charity says:

    Good one my Gazi, i love it when you educate me,

  4. thabozwide says:

    Great read, its strange how people who were once discriminated against do not recognize discrimination when done to someone else not them. A friend of mine was once bombarded when she compared homosexuality to apartheid, many said it is not the same, but she said both are DISCRIMINATION right, mina I say be you regardless, not everyone will like you.

  5. Interesting to point that we, as LGBTI, are not immune to prejudice. Awareness and education should concern us all. Thanks.
    PS about HIV and lesbians, please note that a French HIV organisation (ELSA) will organize a symposium on this topic at the ICASA conference (http://www.icasa2013southafrica.org/). Perhaps it would be worth obtaining an accreditation for Inkanyiso to document this event?

  6. lesdegommeuses says:

    Interesting to point that we, as LGBTI, are not immune to prejudice. Awareness and education should concern us all. Thanks.
    PS about HIV and lesbians, please note that a French HIV organisation (ELSA) will organize a symposium on this topic at the ICASA conference (http://www.icasa2013southafrica.org/). Perhaps it would be worth obtaining an accreditation for Inkanyiso to document this event?

  7. Debora says:

    Lol ya I will blame Jack, interesting.

  8. Maggy says:

    True indeed every piece that has been written down on dis article is so true. Most of d things that has been said are the things we see and experience on our daily basis. The only thing that is keeping us going is having faith and knowing that the heavenly farther truely is amazing and he’s living in each one of us. No one has a right to judge us only GOD can judge you. A lot has been said on this piece. I’m humble by the way people out there expresses themselves in a true manner. I wish each and every reader can feel this peace and take it as a learning curve. Wishing the best in expressing your views and don’t stop writting and never stop sharing with us, what you have witnessed n felt and what you are about to witness.

  9. AYANDA says:

    What keeps us walking is really JACK DANIEL’S , Thank you S’bu. No one should feel that they have to confirm to the societies expectations when it comes to their sexual orientation, gender and identity. We must live our lives and not be apologetic about it. DONE!

  10. Rev Nokuthula Dhladhla says:

    Wow malume I salute you. You have realy given us so much to think about as LGBTIQ community. You are my role model iam proud of you for being who you are no matter what.

  11. Rev Nokuthula Dhladhla says:

    Your style of writting is excelent funny and very educational. Qhubeka njalo malume.

  12. Pingback: 2013 Oct. 29: A Response to “Frustrations of a transgender man (2013 October 13) | Transgender and Intersex Africa

  13. Thanks for finally talking about >2013 Oct. 24:
    Jack Daniels | inkanyiso.org <Loved it!

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