Interracial gay partnerships in post-apartheid South Africa: The ‘journey’ of a heterosexual researcher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this chapter, the author aims to reflect upon his research ‘journey’, conducting research with interracial gay couples living in Johannesburg, South Africa, focusing on his experiences and insights as a heterosexual researcher and a foreign national. He discusses how his navigated this ‘new world’ and overcame some of the challenges his encountered during fieldwork, particularly negotiating insider/outsider positionings. For instance, Van Zyl’s qualitative interviews with gay and lesbian partners allowed the opportunity for reflection, for participants to discuss their experiences in post-apartheid South Africa, and even to challenge the popular beliefs that homosexuality is un-African and that same-sex partners are anti-family. However, little emphasis is placed on understanding the mediation of ‘race’ in same-sex unions in a transforming South Africa, where such relationships are legalised. It is this gap that author own study sought to address, and in so doing, raised questions about the process of conducting such research as a heterosexual researcher.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQueer Kinship
Subtitle of host publicationSouth African Perspectives on the Sexual Politics of Family-Making and Belonging
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9780429584091
ISBN (Print)9780367188023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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