Activist Jabu Pereira has passionately spoken out about LGBTI people’s continued lack of access to equality and their constitutional rights in South Africa.
In a talk delivered as part of The Daily Beast’s series of Quorum: Global LGBT Voices video discussions, Pereira addressed “the intersections of racial and gender oppression” in the country.
The founder of the Johannesburg-based Iranti-Org queer human rights visual media organisation discussed the frustration of not seeing the anticipated equality that the new South Africa promised come to fruition for all its citizens.
“In 1994, we were completely elated that as black queer people and black South Africans, we stood in lines for hours and hours and we cast our very first vote. And — double victory — because sexual orientation was guaranteed into our Constitution,” said Pereira.
“And who would have thought that South Africa in the very first term of its democracy would recognise same-sex couples to adopt and to be recognised as families? And that South Africa would become the fifth country in the world to recognize same-sex marriage?
“But, as we know, apartheid never ended because we cast our vote. It’s a continuum of a struggle to fight against the evils of poverty and racial inequality.
“In South Africa there is a white world who owns the majority of the land. And queer white folks, they are safe. They walk down parks, they kiss, they make out in public and drink cocktails in bars designed for them, but right on the outskirts of that very same city there are thousands and thousands of black lesbian, gay, transgender and intersex persons who can never enjoy that privilege,” said Pereira.