Friday, December 06, 2013

Nelson Mandela and the Rainbow Connection

For LGBT people around the world, the rainbow is celebrated as a symbol of sexual and gender diversity. South Africans adopted it with the end of institutional apartheid, to describe themselves as the “rainbow nation”, celebrating ethnic and linguistic diversity.

In his life and legacy, Nelson Mandela showed us that freedom and human rights are indeed, indivisible . . . Just as Mandela refused to limit his own support for justice to just one sphere, of racial equality, so we too must always remember that our struggle for full LGBT equality and inclusion in church and in the secular world must not be at the expense of other marginalised and excluded people.

We must learn from his own example of outreach and forgiveness, to work without resentment with those who have opposed us, making them partners, not enemies . . . We must remain always optimistic that in the end, justice will prevail . . . And above all, love is more powerful than hate. No one is born hating other races – and nor is anyone born hating sexual or gender minorities.

– Terence Weldon
"Nelson Mandela – Queer Icon for a Rainbow Nation"
Queering the Church
December 6, 2013

Related Off-site Links:
The Moral Courage of Nelson Mandela – Desmond Tutu (The Washington Post, December 5, 2013).
Remembering Nelson Mandela: From Freedom Fighter to Political Prisoner to South African PresidentDemocracy Now! (December 6, 2013).
Sanitizing Mandela: 12 Mandela Quotes That Won't Be In the Corporate Media (December 6, 2013).
Dear Revisionists, Mandela Will Never, Ever Be Your Minstrel – Musa Okwonga (, December 6, 2013).
The Right Wing’s Campaign to Discredit and Undermine Mandela, in One Timeline – Igor Volsky and Zack Beauchamp (, December 6, 2013).
Mandela, A Life of Struggle: The History Most Mainstream Obits Omit – Derrick O'Keefe and Jahanzeb Hussain (, December 6, 2013).
Don't Sanitize Nelson Mandela – Peter Beinart (The Daily Beast, December 5, 2013).
Friends of the Earth South Africa Reflects on the Life of Nelson Mandela – Bobby Peek (Friends of the Earth, December 6, 2013).
Randall Robinson on Nelson Mandela, U.S. Backing of the Apartheid Regime, and the Success of the Sanctions MovementDemocracy Now! (December 6, 2013).
Pope Honors Mandela for "Forging a New South Africa"AFP via Yahoo! News (December 6, 2013).

Image: Patrice Murciano


Terence Weldon said...

Thanks, Michael.

I didn't really want to add to the mountain of words being spilled on this man, but I thought that as a South African who lived through both the rise and fall of apartheid, I really ought to say something. Once I started, the full piece took a full day to get down.

Michael J. Bayly said...

Your "full piece" is great, Terence . . . and I'm so grateful that you wrote it and thus powerfully shared something of your experiences as a South African who lived through the rise and fall of apartheid. I hope this excerpt I share at The Wild Reed leads folks to the original posting of your article and your blog in general, which to my mind is the "gay Catholic" online site.