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performing queer

Shaping Sexualities 1994 - 2004 Volume 1
Edited by Mikki van Zyl and Melissa Steyn

South Africa is the first country in the world to constitutionally guarantee non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Not only has the sexual orientation clause had a profound impact on the lives of people who identify as queer, but also for people who are involved in same-sex relationships more generally – it has opened up a ‘holding space’ for belonging.

Performing queer is a collection of chapters which explores people shaping and reconfiguring sexualities that do not perform as ‘straight’ – queer people’s identifications and expressions of sexuality, and what they say about their lives since democratisation.

‘I think it constitutes a courageous, and timely, intervention ... [a] valuable contribution to South African analyses of the “1994 – 2004” moment.’
     - Jane Bennett, Director, African Gender Institute, University of Cape Town.

‘In a creative, eclectic and often stimulating way, this timely collection opens up one of the great untold revolutions of our time: the coming into full citizenship of gay, lesbian and other “queer” South Africans, and a sense of the effect this has on real people and the way they lead their lives.’
     - Mark Gevisser, co-editor of Defiant Desire.


  • Mikki van Zyl is a gender activist with a broad range of expertise: from research and lecturing to training and development. Since the early 1970s, and throughout her activism during the anti-apartheid struggle, gender and sexualities has formed the lens which focuses her ongoing commitment to building a democratic South Africa.
  • Melissa Steyn is Director of iNCUDISA, the Institute for Intercultural and Diversity Studies of Southern Africa, University of Cape Town. She is best known for her work on whiteness in post-apartheid South Africa, although she has published on many aspects of diversity including race, culture, gender and sexuality.

Rachelle Chadwick, Nigel Crawhall, Don Foster, Charl Hattingh, Graeme Hendricks, William Leap, Annie Leatt, Craig Lind, Bernedette Muthien, Juan Nel, Oliver Phillips, Cheryl-Ann Potgieter, Sylvester Charles Rankhotha, Mikki van Zyl and Robert Vosloo.

Series Editor
Abebe Zegeye

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