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'Everyone told me I can't be bi' - experiences of black bisexual men in SA

12 October 2018 1:14 PM
Tags:
Race
Identity
sexuality
bisexuality
stigma
bisexual men
stereotypes
Activist Mpho Ndaba, software developer Kabelo Thwala and photographer Youri Sunguza reflect on living life as bisexual black men.

Bisexual people are often invisibilised and face a great deal of stigma in society.

Black bisexual men in South Africa, in particular, are generally misunderstood and can find it challenging to gain acceptance.

Activist Mpho Ndaba, software developer Kabelo Thwala and photographer Youri Sunguza share their experiences of being bi, black men.

Read: 'Bisexuals are so stigmatised in the LGBTI community'

Ndaba says he was 16 when he made sense of his sexuality, however, he was not able to fully come into himself or live openly at that stage.

Read also: Misconceptions about bisexuality that need to be corrected

Thwala says he struggled with understanding his feelings until he found a discreet digital community where he could learn more about bisexuality.

It was only at university that Ndaba and Thwala began to form their identity and explore their sexuality.

Sunguza says he first suspected that he was gay until he was exposed to the notion of bisexuality late in high school.

The trio spoke about their experiences of being invalidated and of coming out, as well as the stereotypes and complexities that come with their sexuality.

There's also cultural factors that you need to take into account in terms of what is an acceptable masculinity.

Mpho Ndaba, activist working in media policy work and environmental justice

I've always known that I was bisexual, even as a kid. When I was 16 I was able to find the language to articulate and understand who I am. I'm glad that I was able to do that earlier in my life.

Mpho Ndaba, activist working in media policy work and environmental justice

As much as I understood who I was then, it was difficult to live that life... I've gotten used to the questions.

Mpho Ndaba, activist working in media policy work and environmental justice

In high school, I never thought of sexuality as a thing. I always knew there was something different about me.

Kabelo Thwala, software developer and user experience designer

I never really thought that being bisexual was a possibility... Grade 12 was the year where I came into myself and I realised that I can be into both girls and guys.

Youri Sunguza, photographer

Everyone told me I can't be bi.

Youri Sunguza, photographer

Listen to the insightful conversation on The Eusebius McKaiser Show:


12 October 2018 1:14 PM
Tags:
Race
Identity
sexuality
bisexuality
stigma
bisexual men
stereotypes

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