Congratulations to FaSRU researcher and PhD candidate, Lwando Scott, for publishing an article, “Disrupting Johannesburg Pride: Gender, race, and class in the LGBTI movement in South Africa” in Agenda.
Lwando is undertaking a PhD on same sex marriage in South Africa. Using queer theory as a lens his thesis examines same-sex marriage in South Africa. The central question that underpins this research project is why do same-sex couples marry
What is attractive about the institution of marriage to same-sex couples? His thesis critiques the normativity debate of the late 1990’s represented by Sullivan (1995) and Warner (2000). Whereas Sullivan is pro marriage and the normalising of gay people, Warner is against marriage and the normalising of gay people. The normalising versus transgressive binary is used a starting point in trying to understand what has taken place in South Africa over the past ten years since the legalisation of same-sex marriage in 2006. As a contribution to this debate, his thesis argues that same-sex marriage in South Africa is more complex than the normalising versus transgressive binary. In South Africa there is a simultaneity in the appropriation and rejection of normative performance or understandings of marriage. The complex LGBTI context of South Africa renders the normative/queer binary represented by Sullivan and Warner as insufficient to understanding same-sex marriage in South Africa.