Gay or straight, it’s great to be South African
What’s the best thing about part of our rainbow nation? There are loads of reasons to be proudly South African, but the top reasons for us are freedom of choice, freedom of thought, and the freedom to love whomever we like.
Unlike in certain other countries, South Africans are free to date, love, lust after and marry anyone they want – which means if you’re in a gay relationship, you have just the same rights as straight couples.
In fact, annual gay pride celebrations held around South Africa attract thousands of people from other parts of our continent, where the laws aren’t quite so lenient. Here, under our free constitution, people come together to celebrate and stand proud without fear of discrimination – just as it should be. You’re free to celebrate being gay – and we’re celebrating right along with you.
Homosexuality and old misconceptions
What about when it comes to sexual health – is it true that gay and straight people face different risks? The answer is no. For many years, people wrongly believed that HIV was a ‘gay’ disease. They believed that it affected homosexual people only, and that living a gay lifestyle made you more vulnerable to the disease.
Fortunately today, we are educated enough to know better! We know that HIV and other STIs can affect anyone who practices unsafe sex, be they straight, lesbian or gay. So, whether you’re a lady who loves ladies, a man who prefers men or a good ‘ol fashioned ‘straight’, it’s essential to use protection to safeguard yourself against HIV and STIs. Being gay doesn’t make you more susceptible to STIs – and being straight or lesbian doesn’t protect you from them.
So where can I get the best health care for my sexuality?
The great news is that every person, regardless of their sexuality, is entitled to the highest quality, confidential and non-judgemental sexual health care in South Africa. Whether it’s HIV testing, pap smears or advice from a doctor or nurse you can trust, you’ll find all the services you need to stay safe, healthy and STI-free – without any discrimination. So stand tall and be proud of who you are, and the fact that you’re taking charge of your health.
Why not check out the private, affordable sexual health services offered at Marie Stopes, like HIV and STI testing, contraceptives and pap smears? There’s zero judgement at our clinics, only reliable, trustworthy care and advice for everyone.