The invention of moffie life in Cape Town, South Africa
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This dissertation is an ethnography of the figure of the moffie as a performance of same sex desire amongst gender non-conforming men, as it is celebrated in the 'coloured' ('coloured' is a constructed racial category, similar to 'white' and 'black' designated onto South Africans during the system of legislated racial segregation) townships of Cape Town. In this dissertation I demonstrate that the moffie is central to the lives of gender non-conforming men living in the 'coloured' townships of Cape Town. Through historical and contemporary ethnography, I show how moffie life is a representation of same sex desire amongst men that is highly visible. I reveal how moffie life is socially sanctioned through feminine self-styling, embodied through that of the gay hairdresser, annual gay beauty pageant competitions and Gay Pride events.