Lesbian woman crowned as Mr North West University sparks debate
The crowning of a woman who identifies as lesbian as Mr North West University (NWU) Mafikeng campus over the weekend has sparked a debate around pageants on social media.
Hope Nokuthula Bhuda walked away with the title on Saturday after entering the pageant which challenged beauty and sexuality standards by calling for all to participate.
“Are you shorter than your friends? Are you a member of LGBTI+ family? Are you a human being? Are you bigger than size 32?,” read a poster for the event.
According to Twitter user, Lola Sibilanga, who shared the image of the winner, the theme for the University’s 2019 pageant was ‘Breaking The Code’, which allowed for anyone of any gender to enter,
“The theme for this year was BREAKING THE CODE, which means anyone could enter, irregardless of their sexuality body size, height and other things , now when it came to queer people who entered they were asked how they identify in terms of pronouns (He, she, they, them)...,” she explained.
“(He, she, they, them) as so that they can know who are they walking with, the girls or the guys, hence why Hope was walking with the guys,” she continued.
Hope identified as a ‘he’ and thus was able to walk with the guys.
Speaking to DRUM, Louis Jacobs, Director of Corporate Communication at the North West University said that the promotion of gender and sexuality is of importance to the university.
“Gender and sexuality awareness is a critical component of the diversity focus of the NWU. We embrace and respect the rights of all our staff and students to express themselves in whatever way they wish to. Management has taken note of issues raised by certain stakeholders regarding the crowning of Mr NWU Mafikeng Campus over the weekend. A report has been received from the organisers of the event, and the matter will now be handled further,” he said before revealing that the University would soon host a gender awareness event.
“Various activities are planned annually across the NWU such as the Gender Awareness Week coming up towards the end of August.”
On social media, many found themselves questioning the fairness of the pageant while others supported the winner.
Check out some of the reactions below.