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PRUDENCE MABELE PASSES ON

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“Today we have lost a giant, an HIV-struggle legend and a fierce advocate of women’s rights and access to HIV treatment,” says Larissa Klazinga, Regional Policy and Advocacy Manager: Southern Africa · AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), paying tribute to the sudden passing of Positive Women’s Network Director, Prudence Mabele on Monday, 10 July.Prudence

“Prudence, a long-time friend and partner of AHF (in fact, as recently as mid-June she was marching with us at the SA AIDS conference in Durban), was a groundbreaker in South Africa when she became one of the first black women to publicly reveal her HIV-positive status in 1992.”
“Prudence was an important voice for all women, but especially women living with HIV,” adds Hilary Thulare, Country Programme Director, AHF South Africa. “Her passing is a terrible loss.”
Mabele was one of the founders of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) “and one of the first gay women to raise the issue of HIV among lesbians in 1995, a key leader in the 1-in-9 campaign anti-rape coalition and an important voice in the fight for LGBT rights in South Africa,” Klazinga says.
“Her sacrifices and struggles helped millions access HIV treatment, she campaigned relentlessly in the struggle for justice for people living with HIV, spoke out against violence against women and never stopped educating, inspiring and advocating for women right up until she passed away. She is a true South African hero and will be sorely missed.”
In sending condolences to Mabele’s family and Positive Women’s Network, Klazinga promised, “AHF will continue to fight until Prudence’s dream of access to treatment is realized for everyone.”
For more information on AHF visit aidshealth.org.

BETTY BANGLES – Taking Drag to the next Level

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A new reality television show aimed at changing the perception of how people view drag queens, is about to hit South Africa’s screens in the form of Betty Bangles en die Dossers, led by one of the country’s most popular drag artist, Betty Bangles.
With a stroke of a lip liner, the tightening of a corset and the careful teasing of his latest wigs, Johannesburg-based hair stylist Bernard Buys (37), transforms himself into the fabulous and daring Betty Bangles.Option2
The show will be coming to South African screens on the 7th of July 2017 on VIA, channel 147 on DStv at 9pm with eight episodes. It’s edgy, exciting, a first of its kind on South African television and is sure to raise a few eyebrows among the more conservative South Africans.

“We are a channel that celebrates and depicts lifestyle choices including from unique communities that form the South African social kaleidoscope and so we chose to commission this out of the box new reality show starring Betty Bangles,” says Pat van Heerden, head of content at Via!
The Afrikaans reality show will be based on everything Drag. Betty Bangles, one of South Africa’s top drag artist, the presenter and personality of the show is on a mission to find her top 3 contestants to give them a chance to win the title of Miss Gay Mardi Gras Southern Africa. But first, she had to go through a process of elimination to find her top 3 drag queens, improve their craft and send them on a trip to the Pink Loerie Mardi Gras & Arts FestivalTM in Knysna.
“Filming Betty Bangles en die Dossers was filled with lots of laughs, tears and surprises,” says Hermi King, the show’s Executive Producer. We are excited to bring a show like Betty Bangles en die Dossers to the South African audience. The show is the journey of 3 new to the scene drag artists that get coached and polished by Betty Bangles. Betty Bangles call on a few of her fabulous celebrity friends to help judge and inspire the contestants. The end goal is to see if one of the 3 apprentices can win the Miss Gay Mardi Gras Southern Africa 2017 in Knysna. It has been an incredible journey to meet these wonderful people. I have such respect for their effort and dedication.”
Celebrities & special guests that appear in the show are; Chris Martin a.k.a Cleo (Drag Artist), Ryno Mulder a.k.a Starr Wood, JJ Schoeman, Casper de Vries, Gavin Prins, Armand du Plessis, Bianca Le Grange, Heidi du Toit from Hollywood Costumes, Demi Leigh Nel Peters, Tobie Jooste, Queens of Wigstock - Olivia Mae, Victoria Styles, Jett Joans, Charnè. The show will also follow the reality of Betty and Bernard’s daily life.
“There was a drag show and I remember how mesmerised I was by those drag queens on stage. I just thought to myself how fabulous it will be to continue my love for acting with sequins and feathers,” asserts Betty Bangles.
Getting to know the guy behind Betty Bangles is Bernard Buys, a friendly and easy-going guy with a heart of gold. He grew up in a conservative town called Potgietersrus in Limpopo. He currently works as a hairdresser for a well-known salon in Clearwater Mall, West of Johannesburg. But there is more to Bernard than what meets the eye.
Betty Bangles is a fun and outgoing personality who performs in a show at Beefcakes on Fridays and is a co-host of The Casper Radio Show on CliffCentral. Her accolades do not fall short of being fabulous, the most recent being the face of Pink Loerie Mardi Grass 2016.
Betty Bangles wants South Africa to understand and appreciate the art, effort and talent that goes into drag.

TOILET DOT WHEN?

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By Bruce J. Little

 

Gay guys have been getting their groove on in toilets for ages. In fact, the unofficial homo history books will testify that our gay ancestors also found it convenient. Nowadays, guys are ‘outchea’ following this tradition, but now they’re using technology to organize it first.Stalls2

New hookup sites in Mzansi, like www.toilet.wen.ru, www.toilet.cf and www.mahalatoilet.mobi have brought getting laid in the loo into the 21st century.

They have chatrooms we can use to connect with other gay and bisexual guys in our area, but before we can jump for our smartphones to arrange a quick ‘summin summin’ there are some risks involved we need to get schooled on first.

These websites or apps can be downloaded onto your phone and have chatrooms for almost everybody. They say they can help you to find places near you where you can do more than just ‘kak’. Toilet.wen.cf says that more than 4000 000 people have downloaded their app. You can connect with other peeps from KZN, Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Freestate, North West and Northern Cape in cities, lokshins, rural areas and even Universities and Colleges. You can also chat and in whatever language you prefer when using your smooth pick-up lines.

There are chatrooms for straight people as well as the gay community.
There’s one for guys who want to swap MXIT, BBM or WhatsApp contact details
Guys who just want to have a one-night-stand
Guys who want to meet in a nearby toilet or someplace similar
Guys who want long-term relationships and even chatrooms for guys that are HIV-positive and want to vibe with other guys that are positive

These websites say they promote freedom of speech, so the language can be quite rude because you can say what you want. They also say on their splash page that everyone has a right to privacy so your information is private, and you remain anonymous because people can’t see who posted your message. This is great to keep on the down-low, but the problem is that you never really know who you are talking to.

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Grinding on Grindr

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By Lawrence Mashiyane

 

While Grindr has been around for years, I only recently decided to find out what it’s all about and what the appeal is. Particularly, I was interested in whether anything I had heard about it is true, and what that means for the gay community and stable relationships in general. Wanting to know all this opened me up to more questions: Who gets on Grindr? What’s the mentality of the guys on Grindr? What does Grindr mean for the stereotypes and stigmas that surround the gay community? These questions came flooding into my mind as I noticed that the App was referred to as a “Hook-up” App and not a “Dating” App as other such Apps, like Tinder and Badoo, are called.grindr

I am a huge fan of memes and, at times, I spend hours of the night just looking at memes and laughing crazily alone in bed. Up to now, I had heard of Grindr but paid it no attention. In my opinion, Facebook was enough of a way to meet people as any dating site would be, if one had the interest anyway. However, when I saw a meme about Grindr, that was when I thought, “I really need to look into this” and so I did. I asked people what Grindr was as I only had a faint idea of what it was. After that, I watched YouTube videos and read articles about people’s experiences on the App. Some were hilarious and some were scary and creepy. Others were sad. Unfortunately, I did not find a lot of stories about “true love” or lasting relationships. I think I came across one or two, but certainly not enough to lead me to believe that anyone went on Grindr seeking “the one”, but is it unlikely?

To try answer these questions, I decided to get Grindr for myself. Not knowing what to call myself but knowing that using one’s real name is ill-advised, I called myself Madara’s Pain. After getting Grindr, I realised that was not a name one would typically find and, at times, people requested explanation. Simply, being the “Geek” (as Grindr would put it) that I am, my name is a double reference to an anime I love called Naruto. The first part is a reference to the main villain of the anime, Madara Uchia and the second part, Pain, is a reference to my favourite character in the anime (who is also a villain) called Pain. Why I put the two together as Madara’s Pain is to reference the fact that Madara used Pain in the anime. I see now that my Grindr name was a wasted double nerd reference as no one goes on Grindr to decipher nerdy references. Even though my bio was always changing and always some philosophical line like “the world is physically metaphysical”. Anyway, that’s who I decided to be on Grindr, my normal nerdy and philosophical self because I was there to investigate, for the most part.

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Single and Easy (But not that kind of easy)

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By Bruce J. Little

Not sure if it’s me getting older and more set in my ways, or just wishful thinking, but I am finding it so much easier to be single this time around. I know, I know… When someone goes on about how “happy” they are to be single, it’s usually a case of trying to convince others to try and convince yourself. But this time it really isn’t all that bad! In fact, it has its awesome moments. It only took me five minutes back on the “Grind” as a new singleton to see how many people in open relationships there are in Jozi alone. Plench! And I’ve come to realise that relationships and how we define them are rapidly mutating and changing to meet our needs. It’s exciting to think that I can define the boundaries of my next relationship to suit my needs as well as those of my partner. We won’t have to conform to anybody else’s standards. But I’m in no rush for that to happen because my current singular status has its benefits. Don’t get me wrong, I loved being someone’s boyfriend. I loved the nesting and cuddling and Netflix and chilling, but I’m also really enjoying being able to watch whatever I feel like watching now. I have a lot of freedom at the moment and can do whatever I feel like whenever I feel like doing it, and it’s quite rad. Being a considerate person, I find myself regularly considering the person I am in a relationship with. But at present I can be selfish and consider myself. I’m taking it easy and it’s great. I’m taking care of myself, working on improving and building myself up. I’m giving myself TLC and I’ve come to realise that it’s something that I do very well. I’ve always known that I have a lot of love to give, and now I’m enjoying reflecting some of that good stuff back at myself.Leathercouch

There are so many options open to me. I can go on dates, or I can stay at home in my PJs watching series and eating almond butter out of the jar, if that’s what I want to do. Because I like to keep having options, I always ensure that I have condoms and water-based lube somewhere on hand or in my car’s cubbyhole, just in case “summin summin” should come up. I also make sure I replace them regularly and don’t let them expire. I’m not really big on one-night-stands anymore. I can be as frigid as a Friar or represent the “hoe is life” philosophy and embrace “Hoeism” if taken by the spirit at a later stage, and what’s more? I can change these states of mind from day to day as it suits me.

If I eventually do start to lean more towards the “Hoeism” side of the spectrum I could also consider the possibility of going on PrEP. I have choices. I have a lot of power to decide these things for myself and it feels good being able to exercise these choices. No man is an island, but at this stage of my journey I am finding that being just one is a load of fun.

Bruce J. Little is a contributing writer for Anova Health Institute. These are his views, which may or may not reflect those of Anova and its affiliates.

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