Out in Africa: LGBT Organizing in Namibia and South Africa

By Munro, Brenna | African Studies Review, September 2013 | Go to article overview

Out in Africa: LGBT Organizing in Namibia and South Africa


Munro, Brenna, African Studies Review


GENDER Ashley Currier. Out in Africa: LGBT Organizing in Namibia and South Africa. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2012. xii + 255 pp. Acknowledgments. Acronyms. Introduction. Conclusion. Methodological Appendix. Notes. Works Cited. Index. Cloth. $75.00. Paper. $25.00.

Out in Africa examines lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activism in South Africa and Namibia between 1995 and 2006, primarily through ethnographic observation and interviews with the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) in Johannesburg, and Sister Namibia and The Rainbow Project (TRP) in Windhoek. Impressively researched, pragmatic, and even-handed, Out in Africa is an important contribution to the fledgling field of African queer studies and to scholarship on global LGBT politics. Currier's book complements, in particular, the work of Andrew Tucker on queer visibility in Cape Town, Kapya Kaoma on the U.S. religious right and political homophobia in Africa, and Rafael de la Dehesa on sexual rights movements in Latin America. Currier adds to a larger critique of the neocolonial aspects of Western advocacy for gay rights in the global South, and her emphasis on women's organizations is much needed. The book questions the assumption that "visibility" should be the measure of LGBT movement success; she sees visibility, instead, as a strategy that is used in conjunction with deliberate forms of invisibility. Perhaps her most crucial point is that international organizations and donor nations involved in Africa-and indeed scholars-need to be far more aware of what visibility strategies local activists are using when they bring publicity to LGBT issues, since what Currier calls "uncontrolled visibility" can make same-sex loving and gender-nonconforming people extremely vulnerable.

Currier examines the concept of visibility engagingly. Within mainstream Western gay rights activism, the act of "coming out," making your identity visible to others, has long been understood as politically crucial. Without intelligibility, one cannot become a political subject, or, collectively, a constituency. The hypervisibility of stigmatized identities, however, indicates the importance of having visibility on one's own terms. Currier attends to how, when, and to whom groups become visible- through public protests, statements to the media, meetings with politicians, presentations to international organizations, workshops advertised through LGBT Web sites and magazines, the use of welcoming drop-in centers or discreet offices, or even the self-fashioning of activists themselves. Organizations thus interact with more than one "public," so that visibility is never total or static.

Visibility effects are perhaps impossible to fully predict and contain. Currier addresses, for example, the negative repercussions of southern African LGBT visibility elsewhere on the continent, even as activists have been trying-for example at the 2006 African Commission on Human and People's Rights-to build a visibly black pan-African movement that works in concert with other African NGOSs. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Out in Africa: LGBT Organizing in Namibia and South Africa
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.