Earlier this month, South Africans were shocked when news reports surfaced that media personality Boity Thulo and radio DJ Bujy Bikwa were involved in a physical altercation, at a hotel in Johannesburg.
As quickly as the news broke, as quickly the internet started discoursing whether or not this altercation should be considered gender based-violence or not – across Twitter, it became clear that the vast majority of users were on Boity’s side.
More details from the incident surfaced, including statements from both parties, along with several audio clips, giving more details about how things went left so quickly.
Various members of the LGBTQI+ community were very vocal about how this incident should be classified as a GBV scenario, since Bujy being gay had nothing to do with why he felt emboldened to physically assault a woman, but everything to do with him being a man.
This came after he was already called out earlier this year on his “Queer Way of Life With Bujy” podcast, not only for working with MacG, who has been labelled as a misogynist, homophobe and transphobe, but also for the topic around polyamory and the way one of the panellists described being an abuser with her previous partner.
This incident had already put Bujy on the wrong side of the queer community, with many members taking to social media so state that they would not be supporting him.
The incident with Boity again saw many queer people being vocal about Bujy needing to suffer the consequences for his actions but, as usual, certain cisgender heterosexual people – specifically men – decided that the queer community was being quiet about the issue, giving the reason that they feel there wasn’t much noise coming was since Bujy was part of the community and people were being biased.
A similar discourse happened after the news of Somizi Mhlongo and Mohale Motaung's divorce, after Mohale made abuse allegations against his estranged husband.
Even though the queer community was very vocal about believing the victim and making it clear that, when it comes to sexual assault or abuse, someone’s sexuality is irrelevant.
The reason for this discourse or ill-informed hot-take from certain cishet people has two parts.
On the one side, it’s homophobia disguised as concern and, on the other hand, it’s how they don’t see queer men as men.
For those who don’t know, misogyny and patriarchy aren’t just indoctrinated and benefit cishet men.
Queer men can be just as misogynistic and patriarchal as their cishet counterparts, the only distinction is that it presents differently.
As such, when it comes to incidents like these, because certain cishet men don’t view queer men as men, they jump over the fact that the same systems, ideologies and, to a certain extent, privilege afforded to men includes gay men too.
Meaning that the problem here isn’t the fact that Bujy is gay, but a man, which is a hard pill to swallow.
Coupled with the fact that their courage posts have nothing to do with the well-being of Boity in this scenario, but everything to do with taking this opportunity to have a “gotcha” moment on the LGBTQI+ community by using a woman’s traumatic experience to weaponise your homophobia, under the guise of caring about the victim.
This is where a lot of the frustration stems from many queer people, when it’s regarding issues or incidents that involve queer people, but have nothing to do with their queerness.
Not only do they have to bring awareness to, in this case, physical assault, but also have to combat unnecessary queerphobia at the same time.
This scenario with Bujy was another great example of how homophobia will find its way into any situation where queer people are involved, whether it’s applicable or not.
The calls from cishet people for the queer community to “cancel” Bujy was particularly baffling. How do you cancel someone that you don’t support in the first place?
Bujy’s, along with many other prominent gay men in South Africa's, entertainment has made it clear that queer people aren’t their audience.
Therefore, the onus to cancel him can’t be placed on queer people. It’s the people that still support MacG, and his many spin-off projects, that need to take up that fight.
You are the ones watching his podcast giving views and engagement.
“Cancelling” someone isn’t a group project, you can decide who you want to support or not.
Again, the issue about Bujy’s physical altercation has got nothing to do with his queerness, but everything to do with him being a man.
At the core of why Bujy felt that he had to power to assault Boity, without fear of long-lasting consequences, is the fact that in this country men – including queer men – can do the most egregious acts against women, or anyone, and then move one as nothing happened, but still have overwhelming support.