While the debate about how to interpret TopCheri’s tweets, which some considered homophobic, continues this week rages on, a host of questions came tumbling out of the closet.
It highlighted that cultural climate that forces gay people to live double lives out of fear of scrutiny or even their lives.
Local analysts insist that here tweets are harmful but that the deeper issue is the rights of people to live their lives as they wish.
On Thursday morning TopCheri tweeted that “One day we should talk about how so many Namibian Women are married to Gay Men. Especially there by my people … they get married to people’s daughters so they can hide behind “wife and kids”.
Leading human rights activist Linda Baumann, said TopCheri has a right to air her views but it is not her place to out people and expose them to hate speech.
Baumann emphasised that it is none of anyone’s business what a person’s sexual orientation is or what they do in their bedrooms.
“She is raising a very pivotal point that impacts all our lives as Namibian straight women, but I also have a problem with the assumption that all men who sleep with other men are gay. That becomes problematic. The reality is that we cannot run away from who we are as people,” said Baumann.
She added that it is important that a healing process around diversity is started in Namibia.
Even political analyst Henning Melber weighed in on the matter and said a lesson that should be learned from this experience is that artists and self-proclaimed celebrities should not try to become public intellectuals or opinion makers or leaders.
“Because it ends only in embarrassment – rather keep their resentments personal,” he said.
Another tweep @VriesPit tweeted that the tweet vilifies gay men and is ignoring the fact that many people force their sons to get married even when they are openly gay.
“Your tweet is double victimisation and oversimplifies the chat. It ignores the systematic nature of the discrimination and insensitive to the realities of gay men.”
On the other hand, Rodelio Lewis insists that TopCheri’s tweet was homophobic and hate speech although it may have been unintentionally.
“She basically outed the guy. We don’t know who her family member is, but anyone who is close to them and who knows the family will now know that this person is homosexual and that in its own right is homophobic,” he said.
He added that it was irresponsible of TopCheri to have sped up the husband’s process of healing and self-acceptance.
“It is hate. She might have thought it was okay to say that, but when speaking on specific matters like that in our country that still h as the Sodomy law in place, were homosexuality is a criminal offence is not okay because your literal put people’s lives in danger,” he said.
Meanwhile in a poor attempt to justify her much-criticised remarks, the Heaven artist made yet another faux pax when she called herself “the biggest moffie”.
“Moffie” is an Afrikaans derogatory gay slur which means faggot in English.
Tweeps labelled her as a homophobe for using this term.
Social activist Keith Vries said we all know that the word “moffie” is used to dehumanize LGBTQI people as they mind their business on the street in their homes.
According to him, it was wrong of Top Cheri to use the term casually to try and prove that she’s is not homophobic or just as humour to make a sense situation.
“Her entire tweets including this one was insensitive at best and life threatening at worst. If she doesn’t learn from this, we are going to keep teaching her and others like her that it costs money, good standing, your dignity and respect when you think you have free reign to take other people out of the game,” said Vries.
Baumann also condemned TopCheri for using the term Moffie to justify her actions.
“Her calling herself a moffie is an insult to me as a lesbian woman and as a person in the gay community because now she is trying to play its smart to cover her own tracks and be able to advance her own agenda beause she didn’t get the response she wanted,” said Baumann.
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