Framing exclusion in Cape Town's gay village: the discursive and material perpetration of inequitable queer subjects
Within and beyond geography, there has been a growing concern in understanding how and why exclusion can occur within ‘gay spaces’, with a specific focus on Western Europe and North America. Heidi Nast's (2002 Queer patriarchies, queer racisms, international Antipode 34 874–909) work on the ‘white queer patriarch’ has taken this work further by exploring the multiple, interrelated, historical and contemporary factors that can lead to exclusion and exploitation. Despite growing interest surrounding South Africa's new liberal queer agenda, issues of contemporary exclusion among queer groups as a direct result of race and racism have remained relatively unexplored. By incorporating elements of Nast's schema, this article will examine the power that exists in the creation and framing of essentialistic ‘white’ and ‘coloured’ queer male subjects in Cape Town's gay village. These subjects will be shown to simultaneously draw on historical inequalities while also re-imagining them in contemporary settings to re-inscribe perceptions of classed and gendered difference. The creation of such inequitable subjects helps us understand how exclusion can become real and normalised within a space such as Cape Town's gay village in a way that draws on a history of material inequalities and discursive perceptions of race.