Que(e)rying Cape Town: touring Africa’s gay capital with the pink map
Since 1999, Cape Town’s Pink Map has attempted to provide local and international visitors alike with a cartographic representation of the city’s queer landscape. This paper engages with the archive provided by more than a decade of the Map to trace the outlines of this ‘pink’ discourse while contributing to debates on the promotion of ‘pink’ tourism and the nature of South African queer communities. This paper will demonstrate that, in addition to being a commercial publication that locates gay- and gay friendly leisure venues, services, and shopping, the Pink Map also engages particular tropes of the body and gender to inscribe sexual and consumer citizenship in the city of Cape Town with specific emphasis on the urban quarter known as De Waterkant. The analysis will show how the journey one takes while holding the Pink Map is illustrative of events taking place on the urban landscape that the Map depicts. In the final analysis, this paper reveals how the Pink Map serves as an archive of a limited notion of queer visibility, new modes of consumption, the queer tourist gaze and the embodied shaping of destination space.