“INTO NJE – IT’S JUST A THING…”: BEING A LESBIAN IN A RURAL AREA
AbstractThe South African Constitution prohibits discrimination against individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation, yet the experiences of lesbians across various contexts is different. A thematic analysis of 10 in-depth qualitative interviews with lesbian students from rural areas expands the limited knowledge base on this issue. Although these students are studying in an urban area, this article explores the experience of lesbians in rural areas in the light of the prevailing discourses on homosexuality. The findings revealed that due to certain religious and traditional beliefs, lesbianism continues to be perceived by many, for example, as “just a thing”, unnatural, a passing phase, an embarrassment and a sin. These prevailing constructions often deterred lesbian youths from being themselves, thus forcing them to manage multiple identities between rural and urban contexts. Social workers as well as other human rights advocates should, through their research and practice, aim to make communities aware of human rights discourses that promote affirmation, safety and support for the LGBTQI population in rural areas.
Copyright (c) 2022 Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
This journal is an open access journal, and the authors and journal should be properly acknowledged when works are cited.
Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk hold copyright.
Auhtors may use the publishers version for teaching purposes, in books, and with conferences.
The following license applies:
Attribution CC BY-4.0
This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation.
Articles as a whole may not be re-published with another journal.