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  • CleanCutSkolly


Meet Damien Settle. A-32-year-old white male residing in Sandton. He was born and raised in Cape Town where he worked as a financial advisor at a leading bank. After realising he needed a change in scenery, a job opportunity presented itself where he landed up in Johannesburg.

“As a Capetonian who’d never been to Johannesburg before, it was quite an eye-opener. It’s a lot more diverse and there’s definitely a lot more black people”, said Damien.

After making a lot of black friends and engaging in black culture, Damien said he developed an uncanny feeling that he was actually a black man trapped in a white person’s body.

“The more I hung out with black people, the more I realised I had to be black. Whenever I hear a song from Destruction Boys, I immediately lose control of my body and I start to dance, something I never knew I could even do. When I was a child, I used to love Pirates and dressed up like them all the time, then I discovered that there was a soccer team in Soweto called Orlando Pirates, coincidence? I think not.”

Mr Settle, a.k.a Thapelo (prefers his African given name) also talks about his struggles as a black man in a white man’s body, and how if he was legally black, his life would be better.

“I feel judged wherever I go. People are always asking me why I dress and act this way. I was recently at a braai and when I arrived in my fresh Gusheshe (1980’s BMW 325is) with 18inch mags, I could sense the awkwardness in the air; when I opened the boot and carried in my case of Black Labels, the stares I got were just unbearable. I felt completely shunned.”

He furthered his argument that if people can now legally change their gender, then he should be able to change his race? Mr Settle is due to appear in the Johannesburg magistrate court where he believes he has a strong case.

“It is really a question of free will. If I want to be black, I should be entitled to do so by my own accord.”

But where does it stop and who gets to say where it ends? What if someone wants to identify as a child and play all day without any adult responsibilities?

I’ve often felt like I should identify as a car. I get so revved up on the idea of hitting the road at top speeds and gliding through the national highways to unknown destinations. I sometimes get aroused at the mere sight of a car, especially the Mercedes-Benz AMG C 63 S Coupé.

From now on, I’m going to identify as a Mercedes-Benz. If that makes you uncomfortable, you should get your vehicle privilege checked—you Autophobe.

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