The original DASO poster (left) and the ‘gay’ version (right)
The head of the DA Youth says that she is thrilled about a gay version of the controversial DA Student Organisation (DASO) poster that has made headlines around the country.
The original, official version of the recruiting poster includes an image of a white man embracing a black woman, with the by-line “in OUR future, you wouldn’t look twice”.
The poster has caused a furore, with critics accusing it of being inappropriate and the African Christian Democratic Party absurdly accusing it of “promoting sexual immorality” and, even more bizarrely, suggesting that it would lead to an increase in farm murders.
Various unofficial adaptations of the poster have since been created and posted on blogs and social networks, including one showing a black man holding a white man, in a similar pose to the original. Mambaonline has been unable to establish its source.
Mbali Ntuli, DA Youth National Chairperson, told Mambaonline that she has seen the ‘gay’ poster and is “thrilled that people have taken the original message into their own hands”.
She confirmed that there have been numerous ‘parodies’ of the poster, in addition to the gay version. These have included images with a Hindi and Tamil person and a Jewish and Muslim person.
“We are extremely happy that people have taken the underlying principle of the poster, which is tolerance of people, and have created versions that speak to them and their identity,” said Ntuli.
“It’s been interesting to see that it’s not just race in our country. There are so many other issues that are stopping people from engaging with others and themselves.
“I’m sad that we didn’t think of some of the other versions ourselves,” she quipped.
Lance Weyer, Mr. Gay South Africa 2011 and a DA Councillor in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, also commented on the poster, in his personal capacity.
“I believe that with all the comments, good and bad, DASO has successfully achieved their goal of engaging South Africa in a frank debate about one of the most defining issues in South Africa today – tolerance,” said Weyer.
He added: “Part of addressing the issue of intolerance is about bringing people’s prejudices to the fore. This is done not with the intention of being belligerent and attacking people but about maturely acknowledging that people have them and the important role that organisations like DASO play is to get them to talk about it.”
When asked if the DA Youth intended to create other “official” versions of the poster, Ntuli replied that this was unlikely.
“These messages are already strong enough, rather than saying it again by us,” adding that “we want to carry on with something more substantive following the controversy of the first poster”.