July issue of Exit:
“A Slice of Gay Pie: Going Bi”
By Juanne-Pierre de Abreu
It’s the tale of two cities and the Ben Schoeman Highway joins the said two cities. And although they are connected there is still a great divide nonetheless. The aforementioned highway can be seen more as a river that splits the land and on one bank we have English-speaking South Africans and the other bank is cluttered with Afrikaans-speaking South Africans. Sure the river is not difficult to cross but the need to cross the river… is there actually a need? And is there a concurrency?
A bottle of Glade oil incense can be shaken up to mix the oils but the oils inevitably separate in the end, can the same be said for our two groups? Johannesburg is predominantly an English-speaking city and Pretoria is an Afrikaans-speaking city. With the pop-up of clubs like Risqué and Babylon the two languages did find a common ground, however venture closer to the CBD and you will find the language that rules that perspective area. How you might ask. Well if the car guard says “Kan ek jou kar oppas?” then you know.
In Cape Town, that distance from English to Afrikaans is quite a bit shorter. Namely the CBD is considered English, along with the Atlantic Seaboard, and everything else that surrounds the city is Afrikaans. Then in our Gay community, are the two languages on opposite sides of the same playing field? Or are we just on the same field? And do we think less of and judge a man if he speaks with an accent, in our mother tongue? Is it possible for all of us to just get along?
So one lone evening I wrapped myself up in my finest gay chic theatre wear meets skater boy outfit and marched over to the theatre to get a glimpse into the arts in terms of going bilingual.
“Lament in G” and as the name suggests, it was going to be an extremely heavy, sorrowful story presented in song and with passion. I was intrigued by the fact that it will be told in two languages and maybe this will provide another perspective on the great divide from the straight world side of things.
In the end I had the impression that the dominant person eventually engulfed the production in their language, and for good reason. He was dominating. Once removed the balance restored. Was there no way they could find an equal ground together? This made me think of the guys in our community who are seeing a man who has a different home language. Are they finding a common ground? Or is it a case of the dominant one taking over? And what effect will this divide have on a relationship?
Leaving the comforts of my own surrounding I ventured out to the north to a ‘Gat Party’. I have no idea why it is actually called that, but that is what it is called. I figured this would be a great platform on which to dive into the topic of the great divide or going bi. Alas it did not get me any closer to finding couples who have gone bi, or at least the men I managed to chat to were Afrikaans, no English boyfriend in sight. However it was brought to my attention that usually the Afrikaans guys will try adapt to the English guys world and not the other way around. Why are English guys so stubborn in terms of not venturing out of their comfort zones? And similarly, am I to believe that Afrikaans guys are so fickle that they would abandon their heritage in the hopes of finding love?
Looking around the hall and the couples dancing together, I realized how cute the boys were. They were all so healthy, wholesome, brown bread eating men and it was delicious to see. The Boers are obviously feeding something whole grain and mighty strong or I am just use to the scrawny necks and gaunt faces of the English speaking community? I was impressed with the Buffet on offer.
Tweetalige! Om twee tale te praat, is dit nie die doel van dit alles? Staat te wees om 'n man uit die skare te kies en gaan, ongeag van die huistaal, sal dit nie die ware prys in so ' n tweetalige land? Dit lyk ons kanse om dubbel op die vind van 'n liefde. En is dit nie die hele punt van verkenning oor soek so onverbiddelik vir 'n mate?
In the end I realize that we have nothing to loose from going bi, so go ahead and double your chances.