South Africa: Statement Issued by the the Durban Lesbian & Gay Community & Health Centre on Zulu King's Homophobic Comments

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King Zwelithini- A Sexist Homophobe Who is Loosing Sense of Leadership Responsibility!

The Durban Lesbian & Gay Community Centre is appalled at recent comments by King Goodwill Zwelithini. While he is entitled to his opinions, we would like to argue that it is comments like his that confuse people and tarnish what ever is left of the Zulu image.

King Zwelithini's comment display a lack of understanding of our culture and identity and the fact that it is changing and dynamic. Making racism-like comments further shows his ignorance of lesbian and gay identities, and our respect of our cultural and traditional upbringing fused at most times with spiritual guidance.

King Zwelithini's comments show total disrespect of our South African Constitution, progressive governance and growing democracy. How could a Zulu King make a mockery of such a serious and private practice as virginity testing? He may be a 'Zulu King' but is definitely not a representative of Zulu culture.

One may even make the conclusion that his speech at the Reed Dance was a form of hate speech, and an attitude that seems to suggest that being gay or lesbian is a psychological problem.

Zulu lesbian and gay people are women and men, they were born Zulu and would die Zulu. King Zwelithini can never take that away from them even if he wanted to. Being Zulu is part of their identity. I am a proud black, lesbian Zulu woman. I am fundamentally in tune with my culture. I do not need prayer or an Inyanga to heal me. I am healthy, intelligent and beautiful. My family, partner and community are proud of me.

A real king leads with intellect and wisdom - not popularity or favour. His use of anti: government, gender activists, gays, lesbians, Xhosa traditions, children and women's rights suggest that the King has run out of things to say to win favour from 'his people'.

We would like to invite King Zwelithini to the Durban Lesbian & Gay Community Health Centre. After all he also needs to learn that being gay in not a problem and has never been, but that homophobia and sexism, (which he seems to embrace and promote) are the real problem that not just the Zulu nation must address. The huge responsibility that lies ahead is providing and arming people with accurate information on all aspects of life.

Viva the rights to Privacy, Dignity, Equality & Freedom For All!