Above the Skyline

Reverend Tsietsi Thandekiso and the Founding of an African Gay Church

By Graeme Reid

Above the Skyline is both an ethnographic study of the Hope and Unity Metropolitan Community Church (HUMCC) in Johannesburg and an historic biography of the church's Reverend Tsietsi Thandekiso. Author Graeme Reid became interested in this church community and, as an anthropologist, spent more than a year participating in all the church's activities. The book demonstrates how the church helped to integrate different aspects of identity for gays and lesbians who were African and Christian, and it shows how the church helped to mediate between young gay Christians and their families. The HUMCC provided a spiritual home for lesbians and gay men while actively affirming their identities. Before his premature death, Reverend Tsietsi Thandekiso played a significant role as a public spokesperson for his constituency, making his 'small flock' an important community organization and political voice, speaking out against homophobia from both an African and Christian perspective. Above the Skyline also explores the meanings of the sermons and healing rituals presented within this church.

224 pages

Publication Date: 12/1/2010
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781868885541