This month we will be exploring gay and lesbian relationships, as well as multi-cultural relationships while navigating cross-cultural issues in South Africa VS the rest of the world.
It’s taken a lot more time in South Africa to get to this point. Would you agree that even though Europe has been open to cross-cultural relationships, they still navigate the difficulties of religion, culture, tradition and family values when push comes to shove just as we do. We are new to this phenomenon and navigating these differences may take us more time to get used to the freedom to which people walk around and display their love for each other.
All different relationships- even within a Jewish relationship- the way your Ashkenazi mother lights the Shabbat candles on a Friday night and says a blessing- is different to the way a mother in a Sephardic home would light the candles and say the prayer. Traditions and customs have the potential to tear Jews apart. Therefore, can these differences destroy a marriage?
I think we should praise South Africa when it comes to multi-cultural and LGBTQ+ relationships. We are very progressive in our attitudes concerning these relationships in the country, considering the way we have embraced freedom to express love! However, there is still much resistance. Women suffer greatly from this as men try to dominate their sexual prowess and dominance over the choices that they make. This is particularly true in the rural communities. In this country, gay women are marginalised, ridiculed, and even abused- often by men who cannot understand why they have chosen their lifestyle. These men have a mindset that if a lesbian were to have sex with a man, they will be ’cured’.
Recently, whilst away in Europe I visited a gay beach, where I noticed two profound phenomenon’s. First one being, how sexually charged that section of the beach was. The sexual energy was intense with every man more buffed and toned than the next and very much in touch with their sexuality and their awareness to their sexuality. The second phenomenon- was the freedom in which these men played in the water like children. Uninhibited to frolic and gallivant in the sea, unashamed and bold in their affection for one another.
The point is that as we grow older, we lose our inhibitions to touch and play from boys to men whereas girls, are freely able to hug and kiss each other with much affection in public and continue to do so into womanhood. As heterosexual men, the rugby field, wrestling ring and other contact sport arenas provide the perfect space for acceptable ways for men to engage physically.
My thoughts on lesbian relationships, is really that women understand women. Every woman needs a woman as her husband, who can understand menstrual pain, mood swings and be compassionate towards needs of children. There exists an unspoken empathy between women. But, no relationship, neither homosexual or heterosexual is perfect, and without its challenges.
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