Oppression and resiliency in a post-apartheid South Africa: unheard voices of Black gay men and lesbians

Cultur Divers Ethnic Minor Psychol. 2004 Aug;10(3):302-16. doi: 10.1037/1099-9809.10.3.302.


Guided by photovoice, a form of participatory action research that uses documentary photography and storytelling, this study examines how Black gay men and lesbians view themselves in relation to White gay men and lesbians in South Africa. Participants were from 4 South African townships and included 4 women, and 3 men. Participants discussed interracial dating, a lack of education, and information regarding differing sexualities and health care. They reported being sexually and physically assaulted for challenging the heterosexual status quo. Other themes that emerged from this study were classism, cultural traditions of visiting African healers, and segregated social spaces. Amidst oppression and despair, participants showed signs of strength, hope, and optimism.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blacks / ethnology*
  • Blacks / psychology
  • Crime Victims / psychology
  • Female
  • Homosexuality, Female / ethnology*
  • Homosexuality, Female / psychology
  • Homosexuality, Male / ethnology*
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Prejudice*
  • Race Relations / psychology*
  • Self Disclosure
  • Social Class
  • Social Desirability
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • South Africa
  • Violence / ethnology
  • Violence / psychology