Original Research

Constructing the autobiographical self, collective identity and spiritual spaces in South African queer autobiography

Barrington M. Marais, Cheryl Stobie
Literator | Vol 35, No 1 | a1081 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v35i1.1081 | © 2014 Barrington M. Marais, Cheryl Stobie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 August 2013 | Published: 31 July 2014

About the author(s)

Barrington M. Marais, English Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus, South Africa
Cheryl Stobie, English Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg Campus, South Africa


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Abstract

This article examines four recent collections of South African queer autobiographies. These are: Hijab: Unveiling queer Muslim lives, Yes I am! Writing by South African gay men,Reclaiming the L-word: Sappho’s daughters out in Africa and Trans: Transgender life stories from South Africa. Selected narratives from each collection have been analysed in order to exhibit the relational nature of autobiographical self-construction through an exploration of how it is specifically constructed in spiritual or religious spaces. The ubuntu theology of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is analysed as it intersects with representations of spirituality and religion in the texts. This article seeks to highlight the socio-political value of the texts and their functioning as important tools in the struggle for equality in which the queer minority currently find themselves.

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doi: 10.4102/lit.v40i1.1553