Prof Tim Noakes slammed for homophobic cartoon retweet


It appears that Prof Tim Noakes supports harmful queerphobic disinformation associating the LGBTQ+ community with paedophilia

Controversial South African professor and author Tim Noakes must explain and apologise for resharing a cartoon on Twitter associating the LGBTQ+ community with paedophilia.

The cartoon depicts a Trojan horse being wheeled towards “social acceptance” by (presumably, American) democrats. While the front of the wooden horse is labelled LGBTQ+, the interior is labelled “paedophiles”.

The implication is that the LGBTQ+ community is associated with or inclusive of paedophiles and that society’s acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community is a first step towards it embracing paedophilia.

The cartoon was originally shared by anti-transgender and anti-vaccine advocate Dr Anastasia Maria Loupis and was then reshared by Noakes without comment, suggesting that he supports the cartoon’s message.

Noakes, an emeritus professor in the Division of Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town (UCT), uses his Twitter profile to regularly share posts opposed to Covid-19 vaccination (and associated conspiracies) and to promote climate change denialism and American right-wing views.

“The cartoon repeats the dangerous narrative that members of the LGBTQ+ community are harmful to young people, and amounts to hate speech,” said OUT LGBT Well-being in a statement in response to Noakes’s tweet.

The vilification of LGBTQ+ people by linking them to the “grooming” of children is one of the most common queer-panic tropes. It is used to justify restricting LGBTQ+ rights and blocking young people from accessing affirming educational LGBTQ+ information and, more recently, even drag shows.

“We call on Professor Noakes to not only remove the tweet but to also clarify his intention in sharing it and to publicly apologise for doing so,” said OUT.

OUT, together with the SA Human Rights Commission, recently negotiated a high profile Equality Court apology and restitution payment from Steve Hofmeyr for anti-LGBTQ+ statements the singer made on social media.

Noakes has not responded to several Twitter posts calling him out for his offensive retweet.

“UCT probably needs to consider pulling that Emeritus Professorship from Tim Noakes,” commented MD Alastair McAlpine, while Advocate Jonathan Berger asked, “What’s next, @ProfTimNoakes: some casual antisemitism?”

Barbara Boswell, a writer and associate professor at UCT, added: “I can’t believe UCT Emeritus @Prof ProfTimNoakes thinks it’s ok to retweet something like this. This looks an awful lot like hate speech to me. ”

Noakes appears to have now removed the cartoon from his timeline. He has also blocked MambaOnline and OUT from viewing his Twitter profile.

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