An analysis of the intersections between race and class in representations of Black and white gay men in QueerLife


  • Kudzaiishe Peter Vanyoro Wits Centre for Diversity Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa



Class, gayness, Pink Economy, QueerLife, representation, racism


This article seeks to critically analyse how intersections of race and class shape representations of Black and white gay men in QueerLife, a South African online magazine. It focuses on QueerLife’s ‛4men’ section and how its content represents classed and raced gay identities. My argument is that QueerLife for wards racialised and classed representations of the gay lifestyle, which reinforce homonormalisation within what is known as the “Pink Economy”. Using Critical Diversity Literacy (CDL) to read the underlying meanings in texts and images, the article concludes that QueerLife is complicit in the construction of gay identity categories that seek to appeal to urban, white, middle-class gay-identifying communities in South Africa. The article also demonstrates how, when Black bodies are represented in QueerLife, exceptionalism mediates their visibility in this online magazine. Overall, the findings demonstrate how Black and white gay bodies are mediated online and how their different racial visibilities are negotiated within the system of structural racism.