Many of the images in Zanele Muholi’s new solo exhibition, “Of Love & Loss,” depict the celebration of black gay and lesbian weddings. She tells me about Ayanda Moremi’s marriage to Nhlanhla in Katlehong, Johannesburg, in November last year. Ayanda, a lesbian mother who lives in Vosloorus, was at the forefront of Duduzile Zozo’s funeral. Zozo, a butch lesbian, was brutally murdered in Thokoza township a few months before Ayanda’s wedding. According to Muholi, the whole community, as well as friends and relatives, came out to support Ayanda and Nhlanhla’s wedding, with “not a trace of homophobia on the day.”
Charlayne Hunter-Gault, an African-American reporter based in South Africa, has penned a piece in this week’s New Yorker titled “Violated Hopes” (subscription required) that covers the contentious topic of sexual violence directed against black South African lesbians. Hunter-Gault frames the piece on the experiences of lesbian women in townships in Johannesburg and Cape Town, interviewing several women who have experienced sexual violence at the hands of men.