21-year-old model, Slick Woods first rose to fame (and our attention) when she starred in Rihanna's FentyxBeauty makeup launch campaign. Known as Rihanna's muse, she is undoubtedly a stunner, striking with her kick-ass attitude, shaved head and signature gap-teeth.
But more recently the young model has been making headlines for the way in which she so casually revealed that she's pregnant. On Insta, of course...
"In good company" reads the caption, as we see her baby bump revealed in a gorgeous side-peeking swimsuit on the post which has since garnered over 155 614 likes.
There has been speculation that the father is, in fact, Ivory-Coast male model, Adonis Bosso, yet nothing has been confirmed.
However, her pregnancy announcement sparked another conversation all together.
Someone commented asking, "Whattt? I thought she was lesbo".
W Magazine reported that Slick shut this troll down with these words: "To think we live in a world where people still confuse sexuality with reproduction."
She added, "grow up" with an eye-rolling emoji.
But why (if she is queer or not) did this troll assume sexuality plays a part when we think about reproduction?
Lesego Phenyo Will Ramphele's 2016 psychology Masters thesis on “Doing” gender in South Africa: Footprints of tension for transgender persons explains that "binary dichotomous categorisations are used to validate particular states of sexual being, issues of gender are not always as straightforward as people make them out to be."
Thus, we have always been taught that men=masculine, women=feminine and that heterosexuality is the 'natural' way of coupling, and reproducing.
The thesis continues, saying "visible, intelligible and legible bodies come to define and regulate the terrains of citizenship within the nation. Sexual bodies are legitimised through social management or control mechanisms which consist of prohibitions and sanctions that entail behaviour policing."
So, dichotomous beliefs are ingrained in our thinking as we are often policed, disciplined or threatened when veering from these beliefs, engaging in behaviours that are outside this system. For example when society continuously discriminates against a homosexual individual by labelling said person or group as derogatory, we are taught that this behaviour is deviant. So we try to avoid being policed by not engaging in that which society polices us for.
"Individuals are continuously reminded to behave in accordance with expected attitudes, for instance, compliance with an expected dress code and way of being as prescribed by major institutions such as kinship arrangements".
So, not granting reproductive, marriage or coupling rights to the queer community, is a direct result of the above system of policing, and range of systematic exclusionary practices that often didn't allow for another perspective as it deemed heterosexual parenting as the norm.
Adoption and LGBTQI parenting in SA and abroad
According to a report compiled this year by splcenter.org the law known as HB 24 "could prevent qualified same-sex couples from adopting" in Alabama in the U.S. Last year, according to Refinery29, it became legal for private adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQI couples or singles, citing the agency's religious beliefs as a reason.
And The Guardian reported last year that Tor Docherty, chief executive of New Family Social (NFS), using data from the National Register found that LGBTQI couples are more likely to be open to adopting 'hard to place' children. That would include older children, or kids from difficult backgrounds.
She says that heterosexual couples tend to adopt as a last resort after experiencing a set of fertility problems, and are usually interested in adopting babies or newborns, says Tor. And queer couples approach adoption with different expectations, consequently more open to adopting older children or to show more empathy for children who've had a hard upbringing.
South African clinical psychologist, Johan van Rooyen says we need to be better educated about this topic in order to change people's perceptions about LGBTQI parenting and adoption. "By showing that it is indeed possible for parents, in spite of sexuality to raise well balanced and secure children. Children want to feel love and know that they are safe. There is some interesting studies that have been done in the USA on gay parents, showing that their children don't look at life differently than children of straight parents. They were, in fact, more resilient in follow up studies."
He has some good news in terms of reproductive rights and sexuality, saying "I think we are much further ahead than what we think. Our country has one of the most progressive surrogacy laws that enable all people, irrespective of sexuality to become a parent. I have experienced this. As a single gay father, I have not encountered any criticism, mostly praise. There will, unfortunately, always be people who stereotype and judge. Part of life."
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