The power of the gay brigade

Amanda Ngudle

Amanda Ngudle

They are the force behind many directive and corporate winds of change. Suave, distinguished and, yes, gay. Respect and awe should come with the territory for such intrepidity. But they are still largely scoffed upon, so they lie as low as they can for as long as they can manage until someone, usually a scorned ex pulls the rug from underneath them. No matter how powerful, they are not invincible as we have read in the papers.

Luzuko Mgijima, a lawyer, says he has never dealt with pettier issues as he has with high-flying executives versus their bitter exes.

"I have long queues of gay people who continue to drag their exes name in the mud by way of lawsuits. Those who don't simply run to the papers to air their dirty linen," Mgijima says.

Because their powerful "offenders" can pay their way out of court, homophobic and ego-bruised individuals resort to underhanded acts of disdain, character assassinations and tactics of that nature.

The tabloids, being the biggest fans of any drama involving homosexuals, roll up theatre screens for such shenanigans. The recent story of business honcho Malusi Makhathini, who was accused of raping a nameless close acquaintance, was such top-drawer material many readers had to chew on for weeks on end.

It was later claimed by one of the two parties' friend Nakedi Ribane that she knew the duo as friends. Are gays, powerful or not, their worst enemies? Do they look at their sexuality as dirty linen that should be aired in public at the slightest provocation?

It was no one else but Wandie Ndala's "long- term" gimp, who ran to the papers with claims that he was still owed money for sexual services rendered. There is no way that such news didn't narrow Ndala's clientele at his Wandie's Place, the first eatery in Soweto.

But as no homosexual relationship has survived curiosity, even death doesn't bury the matter. In February last year, a male prostitute known as Vaughan came out to claim that the late business mogul Brett Kebble was a generous gay man.

But when Kelly Kumalo nonchalantly blurted out on a radio programme, that DJ Cleo was gay, things were never to be the same. The disc maestro shot back some obscene material and his sexuality was further questioned by scribes and bloggers who asked: "If he is not gay why is he being such a woman about it? A real man would never stoop that low ."

Others reveal their other world just to attract drama and hopefully boost the sales of their artistic wares. A case in mind is Theo Nhlengethwa's self resurrected debate about his sexuality. The world had long put the story to bed when out of the blue he revealed to a Sunday paper that he is a man and not a woman. People are still adamant he's lying and trying to win attention for his new album.

Also recently when one of Big Brother's married contestants Richard, ran out of things to exhibit during their talent show, he wore a bra and a skirt and declared that though he is straight, he wears his wife's clothes and underwear.

"There's a woman inside every man," he declared.

The question is: is it possible for the black-tied gay merchants to be respected?