1 July 2024, 17:00 - 18:15hrs, Berlin
Under the Baobab: “You Have To Be Gay To Know God”
A reading by and with Siya Khumalo

South Africa’s constitution is one of only twelve in the world to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. In 2006, South Africa legalised same-sex marriage – the fifth country ever to do so and a full eleven years before it was legalised in Germany. Despite the robust laws, the reality of life for LGBTQI+ in South Africa is different: The country’s complicated socio-political history and the associated influence of religion and churches, which is still strong, continue to contribute to the marginalisation and discrimination of LGBTQI+ today.

This is something that Siya Khumalo, who grew up in a Durban township immersed in religious influence, also had to experience. In his autobiographical debut work You Have to Be Gay to Know God, Khumalo speaks openly about his life experiences as a young homosexual man in South Africa and the struggle to reconcile his sexual identity with his faith. In doing so, he also highlights the intertwining of colonialism, religion, cultural expectations and politics.

As a devout Christian and LGBTQI+ activist, Siya Khumalo works tirelessly for an open and collaborative dialogue between traditional leaders and representatives of both the LGBTQI+ and churches to bridge the gap between South Africa’s democratic and constitutional ideals and the lived reality of the LGBTQI+ community.



Welcome remarks:
Stefanie Hirsbrunner, InterKontinental

Siya Khumalo, Author and Activist

In conversation:
Siya Khumalo, Author and Activist
Larissa Pflüger, Scientific Advisor, German Africa Foundation

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