Cape Town’s Triangle Project has accused a journalist and the editor of the Weekend Argus of prejudice following a homophobic article.

In an article penned by Tash Reddy, titled I’ve Never Felt So Frightened, published in a recent edition of the Weekend Argus (31 March), the author describes her “shock and horror” as she entered the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil; “ridden with crime, poverty and hideous scenery”.

Reddy goes on to describe the setting of her hotel as being in the centre of gang-war territory with gunshots ringing out. She refers to an overpowering stench of decaying rubbish, informs readers that drug dealers roamed the streets and states that homeless people “infested” derelict buildings.

What, however, has upset Triangle Project is when Reddy writes in the article that Sao Paulo is “teeming with homosexuals, lesbians, transvestites and transsexuals, who were all part of the street parade as they solicited for business from the pavements.” She concludes the article by stating that she had never before felt so frightened.

Glenn de Swardt, acting director of Triangle Project, says that, “Triangle Project abhors Reddy’s association of the homosexual community with violence, social disorder and urban decay and can find no reason what-so-ever for her reference to non-heterosexual people in her article.”

The article was also published in the Saturday Star in Johannesburg on March 31 under the headline Brazilian City a Foul Slum.

The organisation has accused Reddy and the Editor of the Weekend Argus of being blatantly prejudiced against gay and lesbian people. They say that the article “contributes to feeding ongoing negative stereotyping of an already marginalized sector of the community.”

De Swardt says that the organisation will be taking its complaint to the Press Ombudsman.

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