The experiences of Black Lesbians in a South African Township

  • Mpho Maotoana
  • Saraswathie Govender
  • Kathryn Nel
Keywords: Corrective rape, Discrimination, Gender Based Violence (GBV), Stigmatisation, Suicide


This researcher used a qualitative (exploratory) approach to investigate the social and emotional experiences of 10 black lesbian couples in Seshego Township, Polokwane, Limpopo Province. The investigation details their day-to-day lived experiences which affects their overall health, well-being and life in general. Gender Based Violence (GBV) is usually reported as a heterosexual phenomenon however, GBV of black lesbian couples is under-reported and can be from people unknown to them (usually males) and family (for instance, brothers and mothers). Data was collected using a semi-structured interview using purposive sampling. Thematic Content Analysis (TCA) was used to glean five themes from the data collected. This study thus expanded societies understanding of lesbian couples and GBV, from their family identity to their community identity which includes the way patriarchal heterosexism is expressed in the lives of black lesbian couples. Despite the progressive laws and constitution of the South Africa, the researcher found that lesbians still suffer from GBV, victimisation, stigmatisation, physical and verbal abuse as well as corrective rape.

Keywords: Corrective rape; Discrimination; Gender Based Violence (GBV); Stigmatisation; Suicide.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9231