Pride Month 2017 : Q & A with Tshepo Lekoane
October is Pride Month here in Gauteng, and this year I am featuring Tshepo Lekoane. Born and bred in Soweto, he shares what it was like growing up gay in a society that doesn’t embrace homosexuality. Thank you for sharing your story Tshepo.
Q: At what age did you realize and accept that you were gay?
A: I realized that I was gay when I was 12 years, but only accepted this fact at the age of 25 years old.
Q: Why did it take you so long to accept you were gay?
A: The challenges that I had observed other gay individuals go through, contributed to my late acceptance of being a gay man. Additionally, the possibility of being rejected by my parents just didn’t seem to justify the risk of acknowledging that I was actually gay.
A: I came out of the closet at the age of 25. My family did not have a problem because they knew that I was Gay, but I was scared to come out to my friends mostly due to fear of rejection. As it is, today my relationship with some of them is on the shaky side, while with most, our friendship has solidified and I’ve been accepted as one of the “mpinji”. No judgement. Just one of the boys who is often the one that gets turned to for advice or guidance.
homosexuality, what was that like for you?
A: I had individuals that really made me feel like shit! Calling me names like moffie, “stabani”, “stewzana”, gay or double adapter for no apparent reason other than the fact that they had an issue with me being gay. So as not to allow them to have power over me, I had to accept who I was first. Else I could not expect these bullies to accept me for who I truly am. I also chose not to focus on them, but rather on my own goals and dreams, allowing me to grow as an individual, boosting my self-confidence and being left alone by these bullies.
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
A: Discrimination has always been an issue in our country. Where homosexuality is concerned we’ve come a long way, but I think there is still more that our government could be doing to support the issues homosexuality still face today at the Home Affairs offices. For example, there should be at least one official that can and will marry same-sex couples at all Home Affairs offices.
Where venues are concerned, if they are privately owned, I believe that they have the right to host who they wish to host. It’s like me allowing some friends into my home while rejecting others I feel I don’t want to host.
Q: Are you planning to adopt or go the surrogate route when you finally decide to become a parent and why?
A: That I enjoy baking and event planning
Find him in the social world via Instagram.
This music video speaks to Tshepo’s heart, the lyrics are in Zulu, but basically, states that he can love whom he wishes to and no one can tell him otherwise.