Constructions of home: the politics of lesbian world making in Cape Town

Susan Holland-Muter


Two dominant, contrasting, narratives have come to characterise public discourse on queer sexualities in Cape Town. Cape Town is often touted as the gay capital of South Africa, while simultaneously, ‘the black lesbian’ is brought into view through a discourse of discrimination, violence and death. This article explores lesbian, queer and gay women’s narratives of their everyday lives in Cape Town. Based on 23 semi-structured in-depth interviews and two focus groups, the participants’ counter narratives reveal how they ‘make’ Cape Town home in relation to racialized and classed heteronormativies. Their productions of symbolic home are read through the modes of embedded lesbianism; homonormativity and borderlands. Their material homes are constructed as sites of identity, community building and belonging; and as sites of political education and public consumption, which stretches their meanings of home to ‘homeplace’. Lesbian queer life worlds are ephemeral, contingent and fractured, making known hybrid, contrasting and competing narratives of the city.


Lesbian queer world making; counter narratives; lesbian subjectivities; lesbian home making; homeplace

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Revista Latino-americana de Geografia e Gênero  - UEPG
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