South Africa's LGBTI newspaper since the 1980's

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Penquin PRIDE

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penguinprideMossel Bay's First Annual Gay Pride, a most anticipated event. People in Mossel Bay have been talking about having a pride for years till I decided enough is enough and took the courage to say let's do it. I went to the Mayor and asked her what she though and she said "Live and let Live". That was my que. After seeking out restaurateur Albert Wiffen help everything started to fall in place. It's a month later and Mossel Bay's first annual pride is well on its way with Guests stars to wow our town, international renowned Dj Master Morgan and events that will keep it fun but in the same breath still stylish.

What we imagine for The Penguin Pride is that it can be celebration where all race, Sex & Creed can come together and join in the celebration of freedom of rights. Marching down Marsh Street waving our gay flags proudly.

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Frank Kater: missing for weeks in Cape Town

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Missing

Ashes for Feathers

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Exit has been nominated for a Feather Award 2014 in the media section, apparently because we have a history of positive reportage on LGBTI matters, hardly surprising considering we have been South Africa's LGBT newspaper since the early '80s, bringing you information about political and health developments of significance to LGBTI people, along with original and entertaining columns and stories on a vast range of issues. The nomination was announced at the head office of Chevrolet on 7 October. General Motors is the major sponsor of the Feather Awards.
"Cheeky, Irreverent, Controversial, Hilarious and Fabulous" are some of the words claimed to have been used to describe the Feather awards, founded in 2008 as a "tongue-in-cheek, light-hearted celebration of high-profile individuals who, according to the LGBTI community, have inspired, scandalised and amused South Africans" over the previous year.

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It is not clear how the organisers of the Feather Awards get the conclusions of the LGBTI community on who should receive, or indeed be nominated for awards. It is also probably inevitable that the writers of their press release should have glossed over the fact that the Feather Awards have been described in Exit as irrelevant and trivial, adjectives validated again this year by the categories in which people are nominated: Cutest Couple, Hot Chick of the Year, Socialite, and Drama Queen being arguably the most irrelevant categories, though we also have to wonder, in this year of Ebola, how important Best Styled Male and Best Styled Female are.
Exit has decided to decline this nomination. We note that Chevrolet, the main sponsors of this event, have a proud history of affirmation of LGBTI rights, but the general frivolity and air-headedness associated with these "awards" make it something which, at this time, we do not feel we can be associated with.

A HIV Shot of Hope

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The Search for the Next Positive Hero SA, Begins

On 1 December the HIV epidemic gets a massive shot of hope with the launch of The Search for the Next Positive Hero SA, an initiative of the Change the Stigma Project, spearheaded by Charles Jacobs and supported by Trevor Kleinhans.

In 2011 Charles Jacobs was nominated as a finalist in the Mr Gay South Africa competition, and made history by taking a courageous step. Already having lived with the HIV virus for nine years, he made the bold move to disclose his status publicly, the first time any finalist had done so, and challenge the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS head on.

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"People living with HIV often say the stigma they encounter is worse than the disease itself," he said. "That stigma is exactly what prolongs the journey from denial to acceptance for anyone who is HIV positive, and is what we aim to change with the search."

In 2012 Jacobs was selected by the NGO, Positive Heroes, as their first Positive Hero.This inspired him to create Change the Stigma Project with the mission of searching for more positive role models.

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Homo Says What: Where to go from here...

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A total of five different columns were written for this November issue, jumping between sexual escapades with a straight couple in France to deep seeded politically motivated South African disparagements. I touched on the sad secular chase of London gay men working weeks simply to get to the ritualistic methamphetamine weekend, yet brushed it aside for the euphoria of Ibiza clubbing. But nothing really made an impact. Nothing stuck out that felt so gay specific that would find a place in a gay newspaper.

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Is it because gay culture doesn't really interest me? Or is gay culture becoming very uninteresting? Maybe it's a bit of both but I have never considered myself a chaser of the next 'it' thing but rather the freshest vibe. And a vibe, when it comes to people, is largely based on the people and not what the establishment has to offer. So has the gay scene gotten tired, or have I of it? If I'm solely to blame then why do I find myself behaving at Rocking the Daisies as I would have at Jhb Gay Pride, (the one at Zoo Lake)? And I found straight people wanting to party with a gay couple far more euphoric than standing around a gay bar watching men try fuck each other. Even the prospect of straight couples swinging with my merry couple is far more tantalizing than gay couples swinging. Is it because there is a straight man in the room? Or does it have more to do with sexual exploration within myself? And is the gay scene a little poppered out?

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