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Belinda Qaqamba Ka-Fassie, motherhood and LGBTQ+ in South Africa

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Belinda Qaqamba Ka-Fassie, motherhood and LGBTQ+ in South Africa by Tree Elven on 17/09/2021
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Starring drag artist and activist Belinda Qaqamba Ka-Fassie with cameos by other black drag queens, this short film explores identity, acceptance, and the role of motherhood in South Africa’s LGBTQ+ community. A former student of education, Ka-Fassie and other black drag queens are forging new paths in what it is to be queer, for example through speaking out about rituals such as male circumcision, and through their choice of clothes. Apparel that is acceptable for pageants and competitions is often changed as participants return from such events to their townships (areas formerly designated by apartheid legislation for black occupation), where it is still hard to gauge real levels of acceptance/discrimination around the LGBTQ+ communities. Ka-Fassie, 26, explains that there is no word for queerness in the Khosa language widely spoken in South Africa, so that she had difficulty expressing her queerness when she came out to her parents. What do you think of the visual challenge to traditional notions of maleness implicit in the choice of clothing seen in this footage? The specially written poem 'And I Shall Rise', accompanying the choreographed visual imagery, reflects Ka-Fassie's work helping South African mothers support their children's sexuality. Does it also strike a deeper chord about humanity overall? "Can you see me? As I fly high above this earth A weighty query stains my love, Deep down affects me since birth Is it beauty you’re afraid of? You say we are different, we are not the same Agreed, yes, but aren’t we all? Two arms, two legs, two eyes, one blame, What is different after all? Close your eyes, feel your mother’s hand Gentle angel feather across your face. We come from the same land, We end in the same place."

Keywords: South Africa LGBTQ+, Belinda Qaqamba Ka-Fassie, black drag queens, choreography South Africa, Black Drag Magic, masculinity in South Africa, maleness and drag, Great Guns Meena Ayittey Greg Rattazzi,

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