Siya Khumalo grew up in a Durban township where one sermon could whip up a lynch mob against those considered different. Drawing on personal experience — his childhood, life in the army, attending church, and competing in pageants — Khumalo explores being LGBTQI+ in South Africa today. In You Have to Be Gay to Know God, he takes us on a daring journey, exposing the interrelatedness of religion, politics and sex as the expectations of African cultures mingle with greed and colonial religion.
This combustive and personal commentary on sexual preference and the brutal dogmas of religion and politics is important and timely. – Steven Boykey Sidley
The late, unlamented Zuma era brought bales of misery, but it also birthed a generation of writers of coruscating brilliance. Siya Khumalo is one of them. Walk through South Africa with him, and you’ll find yourself in a place that finally, blindingly makes sense, even if you’d rather it didn’t. – Richard Poplak
Transgressive, provocative, authentic and uncompromising, Siya Khumalo’s account of growing up as a gay man in newly-democratic South Africa takes him into potentially hostile territories in search of his authentic self. This book is a heady mix of desire, raunch, politics, intellect and principle all wrapped up in Khumalo’s singular and fearless voice. – Marianne Thamm