BOOK EXCERPT: Are we 'Progressive Prudes' along the Pink Line?

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The Pink Line folds intimate and deeply affecting stories of individuals, families and communities into a definitive account of how the world has changed in just a decade. (Photo: Mark Gevisser/ Supplied)
The Pink Line folds intimate and deeply affecting stories of individuals, families and communities into a definitive account of how the world has changed in just a decade. (Photo: Mark Gevisser/ Supplied)

Six years in the making, The Pink Line follows nine protagonists from the same number of countries all over the world to narrate a story of how "LGBT Rights" became one of the world's new human rights frontiers in the second decade of the 21st century. In the excerpt below, Gevisser explores the relationship between tolerance and legality. South Africa, which boasts one of the world's fairest constitutions is one of the first countries to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation and the fifth to legalise same-sex marriage. However, it is still one of the most intolerant countries in the world, with staggeringly high rates of violence against LGBTQ+ peoples. How does this happen?

When the police arrived at the Mankhoma Lodge in Blantyre the morning after Tiwonge Chimbalanga's public engagement ceremony in December 2009, they forced her to strip.

Once they ascertained she had male genitals, they arrested her and her fiancé Steven Monjeza on suspicion of being in contravention of Section 153 of the Penal Code, a colonial British hangover that forbade homosexual sex as "carnal knowledge against the order of nature".

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