The New York Times has a new department in its Sunday Review section called Exposures. This week's Exposure is a photo essay. This photo essay has a boatload of triggers for victims of sexual abuse so I'll describe the essay below the great orange divider doodle. Yes, this absolutely said "diary me," as difficult as the subject matter may be. It's NOT another Times slide show; it's a photo essay. I will also note that the brutality in South Africa is not state-sanctioned the way it is in Russia.
And the use of "Brutality" in the title is because the essay is called "The Brutality of Corrective Rape." We have reparative therapists in this country whose aim is to either pray or use therapy to make gay men and women think they can stop being gay. In South Africa they don't bother with niceties like that, especially not for women.
Clare Carter, the photographer and writer of the piece, begins with an account of brutality against two women and then explains:
I read of these killings and began to research them. I was shocked by the contradiction between South Africa’s law — it was the fifth country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage — and what was actually happening on the streets. With horrific apartheid in recent memory, the country’s 1996 Constitution committed itself to equality for the entire nation. But the new constitution could not erase deeply held biases and even hatred toward lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. If anything, the extension of formal legal protections exacerbated some people’s worst homophobic inclinations.
Yes, this is a country where we can MARRY. But, well, that's if we live long enough.
That's all the commentary I think I'm going to present on this important essay. It demonstrates that homophobia is so entrenched in some places that it will take a while -- quite a while -- to disappear from society throughout the world.