Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

Another South African lesbian murdered
2008-07-01

This article shared 6565 times since Tue Jul 1, 2008
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


by Sabine Neidhardt

On April 28, 2008, lesbian soccer queen Eudy Simelane ( 31 years old ) was found gang-raped and murdered in an open field some 200 meters ( approximately 650 feet ) from her family home in KwaThema—near Johannesburg, South Africa. Simelane is the latest known victim of what has been a steady escalation of violent crimes against Black lesbians since the country adopted one of the world's most progressive constitutions for the rights and protections of gays and lesbians in 1996. According to South African media sources, Simelane was acquainted with the five men who were arrested April 30 and later charged with robbery, rape and murder. During a bail hearing June 3, four of the men instructed their lawyers not to go ahead with the bail application. The case has since been postponed to June 26. ( Note: The case has now been postponed to July 31, according to the Times of South Africa. )

Ironically, as the country collectively celebrated its fourteenth year of liberation from white oppression, another Black woman was killed not only because she was a known lesbian, but because she was butch. Based on the confession of the first man arrested, Simelane challenged and physically beat one of the men when they tried to rob her. They retaliated by first stabbing and then raping her repeatedly, leaving her for dead with a total of 20 stab wounds.

Zanele Muholi, human rights activist and co-founder of Forum for the Empowerment of Women, the first all-Black lesbian community organization known on the continent, stressed that such extreme crimes get public attention, but hate crime has a far wider reach. 'There are so many cases of African women who are raped or beaten for their sexuality every day,' she stated.

Between 2002 and 2006, Muholi recorded the personal stories of more than 50 survivors from her Johannesburg community who were sexually and/or physically assaulted for being Black, African and queer. Of those, half were raped ( with another 5 having experienced attempted rape ) , and 18 were physically assaulted either on the streets or in their homes. Thirty-three out of the 50 women gender-identified as butch.

What struck Muholi about the outcome of her research was that it was, in fact, 'butches who are often the target of hate crimes, because they don't conform to what some men think an African woman should look and act like. Butches are more of a threat because their masculinity threatens the male ego, which then leads to what is called curative rape.'

One perpetrator of curative rape who confessed on tape to Muholi in an unsolicited 2003 interview, recounted: 'In 1996, me and three of my gangsters raped a lesbian friend of ours. We all knew that she was a virgin, but we wanted to prove her wrong, that she was not a man … .'

Simelane's murder is the seventh lesbophobic homicide since 2003, coming just 10 months after couple Sizakele Sigasa and Salome Masooa was shot execution-style in Meadowlands last July.

Disturbingly, the perpetrators rarely face the justice system. Case dockets routinely go missing, or cases are dismissed in court due to the lack of evidence. During one post-rape medical examination attended by Muholi in March 2004, the attending doctor refused to report that that the 17-year-old rape survivor was forcefully penetrated. Based on his interrogation of the young woman's integrity about being both a lesbian and a Christian, she believed he was motivated by homophobia. No charges were laid and the man who raped her continues to live in her community.

In the following weeks, Windy City Times will run a series of related articles on homophobia and hate crimes against Black lesbians in South Africa in order to raise awareness about the realities of lesbian lives outside the North American context.

Sabine Neidhardt is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Political Science at York University, Toronto, Canada. In addition to her scholarly and activist work on the politics of sexuality and social movements in neoliberal South Africa, she plans to start a MSW program with a focus on trans-masculine youth and organizing in Toronto.


This article shared 6565 times since Tue Jul 1, 2008
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Owasso High School student of Bridge v. Oklahoma State Board of Education case dies, groups respond
2024-02-20
--From press releases - Oklahoma City, Okla. — In response to the death of 16-year-old Owasso High School student Nex Benedict following an assault in the school restroom, Lambda Legal, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the ACLU of Oklahoma ...


Gay News

Yemeni court sentences 13 men to death for being LGBTQ+
2024-02-09
In the Arabian Peninsula country of Yemen, a court has reportedly sentenced 13 people to death who had been charged with homosexuality, The Washington Blade noted. Agence France-Presse reported that the court in Ibb Governorate, which ...


Gay News

Smollett asks state supreme court to overturn conviction
2024-02-07
Embattled actor Jussie Smollett has asked the Illinois Supreme Court to review and overturn an appellate ruling upholding his conviction for a hate-crime hoax that took place more than five years ago, The Chicago Sun-Times noted. ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage news, fighting fentanyl, anti-LGBTQ+ crimes, Grindr
2024-02-02
The Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill that would affirm marriage equality in the state, The Washington Blade noted. House Bill 174, introduced by state Del. Rozia Henson (D-Prince William County), passed in the Democratic-controlled ...


Gay News

Seattle LGBTQ+ bars push back against raids
2024-01-30
In Seattle, a group of Capitol Hill gay bars and clubs are teaming with neighborhood queer community leaders Dan Savage and Terry Miller in calling for the state's liquor control board and Seattle police officials to ...


Gay News

Ohio man sentenced for firebombing pro-LGBTQ+ church
2024-01-30
On Jan. 29, 2024, Ohio resident Aimenn D. Penny was sentenced to 216 months (18 years) in prison followed by three years of supervised release for attempting to burn down a pro-LGBTQ+ church, according to a ...


Gay News

WORLD Arrest in Brazil, athlete dies, Ghana attack, World Economic Forum
2024-01-26
A 30-year-old man was arrested in Brazil on Jan. 18 for his alleged role in the stabbing murder of prominent NYC art dealer Brent Sikkema, Gay City News reported. Authorities took Cuban resident Alejandro Triana Trevez ...


Gay News

Club Q shooter faces more than 50 federal hate-crime charges
2024-01-17
On Jan. 16, the shooter who killed five people—Daniel Davis Aston, Kelly Loving, Derrick Rump, Raymond Green Vance and Ashley Paugh—and injured 40 others at the Colorado Springs LGBTQIA+ nightclub Club Q pled not guilty to ...


Gay News

WORLD Brianna Ghey, archbishops, HIV, George Michael, Albanian women
2023-12-29
A boy and a girl, each 16, were found guilty of murdering a transgender teenager in northwest England earlier this year in a knife attack, per a Yahoo! News item that cited the AP. Brianna Ghey, ...


Gay News

Jussie Smollett loses appeal, might head back to jail
2023-12-01
Embattled out gay actor Jussie Smollett could soon be back behind bars after an Illinois appeals court backed the ex-Empire actor's disorderly conduct convictions stemming from a faked 2019 hate crime and lying to Chicago cops, ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trevor Project, anti-trans crimes, priest sentenced, hate-crimes unit
2023-11-24
The Trevor Project announced the extension of its partnership with the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline, reaffirming its commitment to providing specialized assistance to LGBTQ+ people who call 9-8-8, The Advocate reported. Interim Senior Vice President ...


Gay News

PASSAGES: Chicagoan Lisa Love
2023-11-07
Chicagoan Lisa Love was shot and killed in the early morning hours of Oct. 17. She was 35, and at the time was the 33rd transgender, nonbinary or gender non-conforming American to be killed in 2023, ...


Gay News

Longtime Edgewater framing business owner contemplates what's next
2023-11-06
The large spit stains were still crusty and dry on Wall to Wall Framing's window on Saturday. They're evidence that remains more than two weeks after the incident that brought attention to the custom-frame shop's years-long ...


Gay News

Suspect arrested in gay Philadelphia journalist's death
2023-10-27
Police arrested 19-year-old Robert Davis, who they say shot and killed gay journalist/LGBTQ+-rights activist Josh Kruger in his home earlier this month, The Advocate reported, citing The Philadelphia Inquirer and other sources. On Oct. 26, Davis ...


Gay News

Former NBA player denies assault of another man, said sex was consensual
2023-10-26
Former NBA player Dwight Howard has denied sexually assaulting another man—but said they had consensual sex, The Advocate reported. In court documents, Howard said the encounter consisted of "consensual sexual activity" and that he caused no ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.