Beetar, Matthew. 2016. ‘Intersectional (Un)Belongings: Lived Experiences of Xenophobia and Homophobia’. Agenda 30 (1): 96–103
- Category: Literature
- Source: Academic
- Subject: Xenophobia,Belonging,Asylum/Refugee,Discrimination,Gay,Homophobia
- Place: Southern Africa,Burundi,Congo, Democratic Republic of the,Malawi,Namibia,Nigeria,Zimbabwe
- Year: 2016
- File: Lived-experiences-of-xenophobia-and-homophobia.pdf
This reportback summarises two workshops held in South Africa, which engaged with lived experiences of homophobia and xenophobia. Partnering with PASSOP and Access Chapter 2, the sessions were open to individuals who felt subjective salience with the broad categories of African, ‘foreign’ in South Africa, male, and experiencing same-sex desire. The guided sessions created temporary spaces which explored what it means to legally and socially belong in South Africa as ‘LGBTI foreigners’. Drawing on the narratives of the participants and the issues shared, the reportback emphasises that the enabling conditions surrounding the Constitution need to be multi-sited. The Constitution and supporting structures are framed as being inaccessible for many, contrasting formal equality with daily experiences in the country. It begins to shape steps towards an intersectional understanding of sexual and national belonging in a context of violent structural and substantive unbelonging and institutionalised homophobia and xenophobia. In framing key experiences, it questions the premise of substantive equality offered by the Constitution of South Africa, focusing on the lack of access to the Constitution experienced by the participants.