Homosexuality among black South Africans : a psychosocial ontological perspective.
This study attempts to provide pertinent insights into the experiencing of black South Africans who are gay or lesbian. The aims of the investigation were to provide more holistic information on the gay and lesbian worldview in general; to provide a conceptualisation of the ontology of black gay and lesbian individuals in South Africa within a psychosocial context, and to explore the effects of a dual oppressive system related to race and sexual identity. Of 150 questionnaires distributed to black gays and lesbians, 23 were completed. Although frequency tables were utilised to organise the responses to the 73 items on the questionnaire, a phenomenological approach was adopted in interpreting responses. Within this paradigm, the initial focus was on the exposition of individual responses and thereafter, on the contextualisation of common themes in the perceptions of black gays and lesbians as a group. The study generated pertinent insights into the experiences and perceptions of black gays and lesbians, related to the lifespan development processes (early childhood to ageing) and relevant socio-political factors. In this regard the study highlighted issues that need to be addressed by black gays and lesbians in their acknowledgement of sexual identity; concerns the participants experienced as children; issues regarding relationships, parenting and old age, and the influence of religious, legal, social and political factors on their worldview. Among the most significant findings generated by this investigation, is that of the adoption of society's homonegative attitudes by gays and lesbians themselves at almost every level of their psychosocial development. Respondents also tended to emphasise oppression with regard to being gay or lesbian, than with being black. Recommendations for future research have been identified for the purposes of generating further insights into the experiencing of black gays and lesbians in South Africa.