What does it meant to build a politics centered on diversity? How do we seek to combat homophobia in cultural contexts different to our own? Can we build dialogue amongst communities of diverse sexes, sexualities and genders across the world? These questions were merely some of the issues, renowned gay Ugandan activist David Kato, who was brutally murdered last week, dedicated his life to.
Whenever I think about masculinity in Mauritius, I'm reminded of a conversation between two friends of mine, both girls. It was on the recent emergence of several guys that would wear clothes or haircut styles that were understood feminine, like wearing a pink shirt and having rather long wavy hair along with trendy sunglasses, in a word ‘metrosexuals’. One of the two girls was arguing that these guys could not be called 'feminine' because they were not 'like us'. What surprised me was the firstly the argument, why is it so disturbing to both of them that guys should wear pink shirts? How did we come to consider pink as feminine? And why should it matter so much that a man should dress according to a certain code. But above all, the choice of the expression 'like us' puzzled me. I think it might come from doing a BA in English: to a certain extent you cannot help but notice how people use words. Words are never just words. They bear a history and a background that they cannot be divorced from.