If there is one thing that all boys schools are notoriously known for, it is being “a bunch of womanisers”. Boys constantly boast about their conquests with the girls in their lives and are often glorified. The moment you don’t meet their standards you are frowned upon.

Being gay not only makes you a pariah, but you are also subjected to persecution by your peers simply because you do not comply with their standards of sexuality. Bigoted terms such as “fag” or “faggot” are not only used to castrate gay people but also as insulting banter amongst boys, further highlighting the entrenchment of bigotry in our all-boys schools . This in turn leads to them either keeping their sexuality a secret in order prevent being shamed by and in order to receive acceptance from their peers.

At times, when a secretly gay student matriculates or leaves the school, they reveal their sexual preferences because they are free from peer pressure and they are welcomed into a more understanding environment where people are somewhat tolerant of homosexuality.

There is someone that I know who is gay.  As heterosexuals, upon on our realisation of his sexuality, we began to treat him differently. We acted immaturely about this situation and began to speak ill of him behind his back. There were many times at which he’d be excluded from our conversations and he was subject of the little side jokes within the group whenever he was present. I acknowledged that I too acted immaturely about the situation and I’ve reflected on my actions.

So pride month shouldn’t just be seen as a month of commemoration and celebration, but rather should be seen as month where we reflect on those in the LGBTQ+ community who are unable to be transparent about their sexuality and those who are being persecuted for their preferences.

Thank you

Masingita Mkhawane