Lasizwe during the 2019 Feather Awards held at Fox Junction on October 17, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The annual Feather Awards event, aims to highlight LGBTI issues and challenges in South Africa. (Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images via Getty)
South African YouTuber and gay reality TV star Lasizwe caused a Twitter storm when he tweeted that seven-year-olds need to learn about “same-sex love”.
Lasizwe is the first Black South African to have his own MTV reality show.
On Sunday (August 23) he wrote on Twitter: “I believe we need to start educating kids from the ages of 7 about homosexuality and make them understand about same-sex love.”
He followed up the tweet with a clip from his MTV Africa show, Fake It till You Make It, in which he discussed the fact that he is gay with his young niece.
He captioned the clip of the show: “This is exactly what I am talking [about], educate your children about homosexuality and same-sex love… by educating them you are not encouraging them to be homosexuals but making them understand that dad/uncle dates men or mom/aunt dates women. PERIOD!”
This is exactly what I am talking, educate your children about homosexuality and same sex love… by educating them you are not encouraging them to be homosexuals but making them understand that dad/uncle dates men or mom/aunt dates women. PERIODT! pic.twitter.com/vr12wjBeKU
— Lasizwe (@lasizwe) August 24, 2020
But his posts sparked a wave of homophobia from his followers in South Africa.
Though South African law recognises LGBT+ people – allowing same-sex marriage and adoption, among other things – colonial-era attitudes towards queer people mean that homophobia remains rife in society.
One follower replied: “Teaching them will be endorsing it. Kids should be taught normal norms.”
Teaching them will be endorsing it mos. kids should be taught normal norms.
— Azanian (@thinamelane) August 23, 2020
“Nothing wrong with being gay, but everything wrong with intentionally making kids gay,” said another. “Stop right there!”
A third wrote: “It’s about teaching your son to be a man, I’m not gonna allow that nonsense in my son.”
Lasizwe’s LGBT+ followers and allies, however, said that the homophobic backlash was proof that his vocal support of LGBT-inclusive education in South Africa was necessary.
LOUDER!!!! Thank you @lasizwe for using your platform to educate acceptance and love. It is vital to teach #LoveIsLove at an early age, so we can have a better future. ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🖤🤍🤎 #LGBTQI #Homosexuality #Lasizwe https://t.co/Pu35SrhKlb
— Thulane “Toolz” Hadebe (@YesItsMeToolz) August 24, 2020
One supporter wrote: “What we’re not gonna do is be quiet when Lasizwe is facing homophobic backlash because he’s doing the work we’ve been asking him to do with his platform.”
Another added: “LOUDER!!!! Thank you for Lasizwe using your platform to educate acceptance and love.
“It is vital to teach #LoveIsLove at an early age, so we can have a better future.”