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On-screen gay kiss shows 7de Laan is (very) slow on the uptake

Ring the alarms! Celebrate in the streets! Bring milk tart to the party! South Africa’s favourite Afrikaans soapie has finally shown a gay couple kiss on screen!

Um, but didn’t Isidingo do this even before gay marriage was legal in South Africa? The popular series, which has been running for 17 years – the same amount of time as 7de Laan – even included a gay wedding just when the country achieved marriage equality back in 2006. Generations followed suit back in 2009. Hell, even Uzalo has an openly gay character.

So no. This is not a historic moment for South African television. It just shows one thing; the Afrikaans show is behind the times, and needed to catch the hell up already.

*Cue tannies from Pretoria writing letters to Huisgenoot about how they’re going to cancel their TV licences and stop watching SABC 2*

In Thursday night’s episode of 7de Laan, two Oppiekoffie waitresses, who had both had a crush on the character Logan, played by Simon Tuit, find out that he’s actually gay when he locks lips with his husband, Divan, played by Arnu de Villiers, in front of them.

Of course, the internet decided to break out into song-and-dance, with the show’s Facebook page pasted with the likes of: “Yay for 7deLaan for breaking boundaries! It’s high time you needed a gay couple. They’re such an oulike couple too. To the homophobes: Welcome to the real world.”

A bit late to the party, we think.

Some tweeps do have a point, though, in saying that 7de Laan is a conservative show for conservative viewers, and the Afrikaans community had a shitstorm when the soapie included an interracial couple into the storyline just last year.

The reality of homophobia is that it’s still very prevalent in society, and even though South Africa has one of the most progressive and humanist constitutions in the world, attitudes are slow to change.

So as much as we shouldn’t be celebrating 7de Laan with more than just a “well done on finally catching up with the rest of South Africa”, the show’s team does get a pat on the back from The Daily Vox.

You done good. Finally.

Featured image: screenshot via YouTube

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